An off-duty Boston officer was caught roughing up a man who allegedly tapped the cop’s window with an umbrella after being cut off by the policeman.
In a video filmed by Stephen Harlowe, the off-duty officer wearing a Red Sox shirt can be seen kneeling on the much smaller man, who is not being identified because he has not been charged with a crime.
Harlowe says the officer – also unidentified – slammed the 54-year-old man in purple to the ground, grabbed a handful of hair and then slammed his head into the ground again.
The officer was confirmed to be a member of the Boston Police by the Boston Globe.
The man in purple later admitted to officers he was crossing a crosswalk against the light, and was startled when the officer turned the sharp corner, causing him to tap on the window with his umbrella.
The officer exited his vehicle and then chased the man in purple, who fled because the officer was in plain clothes and off-duty.
Then, with his hand on the man’s collar, the officer forces the man to get up, he repeatedly tells him he’s ‘under arrest’ as Harlowe asks over and over to see the man’s badge.
He either ignores the question or says he ‘doesn’t have it with him’. As they walk, Harlowe keeps asking ‘what did he do?’
‘He cut me off at the corner. I tapped his glass with my umbrella,’ the man in purple says.
The officer walks the man to the intersection of Boylston and Arlinbgton streets in Boston where the confrontation began and places him against his car, which is not a police car, according to Vocativ.
As they walk, Harlowe asks the officer: ‘Because you cut him off and he tapped your glass?’
The officer insists the man in purple ‘cracked’ his window.
‘Do you have a badge?’ Harlowe asks the officer. ‘No, but I have an ID though,’ the cop replies. ‘Do you want me to call 911?’
Harlowe says yes.
They then begin talking over each other as the man in purple explains to other witnesses what happened.
The officer claims the damage to his window is ‘more than a tap’.
A woman steps in and tells the officer the man in purple is a ‘good man’ and asks him to think about what he’s doing.
Harlowe asks the man in purple if he’s OK and he says he is, although he looks resigned to the humiliating scene.
Finally the officer calls for backup and after he gets off the phone Harlowe says: ‘Wait you didn’t yield to a pedestrian?’
The cop replies: ‘I had the right-of-way.’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ Harlowe shoots back. ‘In the state of Massachusetts, if he’s in a cross walk…’
The officer cuts him off, telling him he’s wrong. He then goes on to say again that the man in purple cracked his window.
The crack turns out to be a smudge, a police report later confirms.
Multiple police vehicles arrive and start speaking with witnesses, the cop and the man in purple. The man in purple was not arrested or charged with a crime.
The officer is being investigated but has not been placed on leave or had disciplinary action taken against him.
People who saw the chase said they feel the reaction was excessive, and police are interviewing witnesses as they review the officer’s actions, according to WCVB 5.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told NECN of the video: ‘I don’t know what happen before it.
‘Certainly during it, it seemed a little aggressive, but again, we’re going to wait and see what happens with internal affairs before we take any action, before I make any further comment on it.’