“Dude, dude, dude, I fucking drove Tremont down – there was an unmarked State Police cruiser around which they were all gathered,” said the sergeant, laughing. “So there was always a fucker coming and fucking running,” he continues. “I fucking hit people with the car, did you hear me? I thought, damn it …” It wasn’t until another officer warned the sergeant that the camera was on that the sergeant changed his story.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, but I say they were up front like I hadn’t hit anyone, just drive, that’s all,” he said to change the narrative. “My windows were closed, the shit came in.”
At one point in the video, the officer behind the camera seems to push the sergeant’s head away so that he no longer talks about running down demonstrators in his patrol car.
– Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) December 19, 2020
According to Boston.comThe footage is from a May 31 protest in Boston that arrested more than 50 people and hospitalized at least 18 bystanders. The video was provided to The Appeal by Carl Williams, a lawyer who represents some of the protesters arrested during the protest following the death of George Floyd. According to The Appeal, Williams received more than 40 videos, roughly 70 hours of body camera footage, as part of a discovery file.
“I have put a sergeant involved in this incident on administrative leave and will take further action if necessary after the investigation is completed,” said William Goss, Boston Police Commissioner in a statement on Friday after the footage has been publicly shared. “I want to encourage people to bring these matters to our attention so that we can properly investigate them.”
But the sergeant in question wasn’t the only one who used excessive force or spoke about abuse of protesters. The footage also showed another officer violently beating a black woman with his baton, even though her hands were up. Another unidentified member of the force was also heard talking about his use of pepper spray by protesters. “I’ve already used two of them – I’ve got a little left, I want to hit this kid,” said the officer.
The extensive footage with body cameras continues and shows a similar dialogue in which officers clearly abuse their position of power. Before the footage was released, the officers were praised by the commissioner for their ability to protect Boston during these protests. “Nobody is going to take over our city and burn it down,” Gross said the day after the May 31 protests, according to Boston.com.
In a conversation with CNNWilliams expressed that the storytellers of the night did not share the full scope of what happened and that these videos represent that truth.
“Protesters, activists, organizers and people from Black Lives Matters said, ‘The police attacked us and they used guns and they used advanced guns and chemical weapons,'” Williams said.
The shared footage highlights the importance of officers wearing bodycams at all times while on duty. “We never want police officers to use more force than necessary, even when tensions are high,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “These kinds of situations are exactly why we are implementing body-worn cameras for all police officers and why we have set up a police reform task force to work to bring the necessary reforms and accountability to the police force.”