BOSTON (WHDH) – Suffolk District Attorney’s Office and Boston Police Department are investigating after a lawyer released body camera footage earlier this year of officers beating protesters during protests.
Protesters took to the streets on June 1 to protest the police murder of George Floyd and other black people. Body cameras show an officer lifting a woman, forcing her to the ground, and then walking over her. Another video appears to show an officer bragging about beating protesters with his cruiser until he realizes it is being taped.
“It is appalling the violence that is ironically inflicted on people who protest police violence, mostly black and brown young people,” said Carl Williams, a lawyer who represents a group of protesters. Williams said he reviewed hours of body cam material and is now releasing some of it publicly. The officials aimed at demonstrators.
“If I saw that in a movie, I’d be a mob chasing that person,” Williams said of the footage. “When they’re blue, it feels different. And I think sometimes we use different words. “
Police Commissioner William Gross said the department was investigating and that he had put a sergeant on administrative leave. In a statement, Mayor Marty Walsh said: “We never want police officers to use more force than necessary, even when tensions are high.”
A statement from the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association said: “One night that 30 police officers went to the hospital, hundreds more were treated for trauma and injuries after being treated with a seemingly endless stream of stones, bottles, batteries, bricks and bleach pelted, urine and kerosene, we have a defense attorney who, after piecing together several contextual video clips, wants you to believe that the real enemy of the city that night are the men and women of BPD. “
Williams said the footage has not been taken out of context and is from the cameras of the BPD officials and that the department can post all of the footage if they want.
“This body camera material is owned by the Boston Police Department, it is not mine,” Williams said. “So you have every single minute and more. So they can publish anything they want to publish. “
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