Cambridge police investigating after officer hit black Harvard student

One officer punched the math major in the stomach five times to get him to stop resisting

One officer punched the math major in the stomach five times to get him to stop resisting

The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, said an investigation into the violent arrest of a naked Harvard student by Cambridge police officers on Friday night had begun and called the publicly released video footage of the incident "disturbing".

The Globe reported Tuesday that Drew Faust said that while all of the facts are not yet known, the incident raises important issues about the relationship between police and the communities they serve, student health resources, and the manner in which university units operate with each other and their community partners.

Three officers from the Cambridge Police Department and one from the Transit Police Department were required to gain compliance so he wouldn't injure himself, responding officers, or others in the area.

Around 9 p.m. on Friday, a woman called 911 to say Selorm Ohene, 21, had thrown his clothes in her face. It starts by showing Ohene standing in a road median talking to and surrounded by four uniformed police officers. Bard said videos of the event show that the officers standing around the undergraduate attempted to speak with the student "for a long period of time".

"Help me, Jesus! Help me, Jesus!"

"You have to judge their actions within the context of a rapidly evolving situation and not within an ideal construct", Bard continued. He added, "Cambridge affirms that Black Lives Matter, but it must be true in practice as well".

Asked if officers hit the man while he was on the ground, he responded, "The officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary". He said the officers "engaged" with the student for "minutes" before tackling him. An officer grabs Ohene's legs from behind, knocking him forward into another officer.

Bard-while emphasizing that he has not yet conducted "a frame-by-frame review" of video of the arrest-offered a detailed account and a defense of the CPD officers' actions Monday.

The Harvard Black Law Students Association published a harshly critical evaluation of the arrest on Saturday, noting that some of its members had seen the arrest and detailed it as "a brutal instance of police violence".

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Bard explained that after Ohene was brought down, he "contorted his body" in a way that pinned his arms beneath his body, thus making it impossible for the officers to handcuff him.

According to MassLive, "officers can be seen repeatedly punching Ohene while bystanders shouted at police".

A video of a Cambridge Police Officer punching a black Harvard student while he was physically restrained has prompted an investigation, the result of which will be made public, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern assured.

With two different stories coming from police and witnesses, a spokesman for Cambridge police said in an email Sunday that the department is committed to a "thorough and complete" review.

He was handcuffed, shackled, and arrested on charges of indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on ambulance personnel.

The professors noted the circumstances of his arrest have generated a major public debate, but said that Ohene won't be part of it - except, possibly, in a courtroom. "So the individual is now being evaluated to see if they fit that set of circumstances", he said. "Shortly thereafter, firefighters came and cleaned up the blood with bleach and water".

"We are interested in protecting the privacy of this victim of police violence", the student group stated.

McGovern went on to claim that policing in Cambridge "is far ahead of many communities across the country" and vowed that "as mayor, I will work with my colleagues to make sure that the horrific treatment of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement has no place in Cambridge".

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