Video Shows Police Tackling along with also also Punching Black Harvard Student
Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, said Monday of which while she did not yet know all the facts, the incident was “profoundly disturbing,” especially as of which occurred against “the backdrop of increasingly urgent questions about race along with also also policing from the United States.”
The mayor of Cambridge, Marc C. McGovern, called the video “disturbing” along with also also said he wanted to ensure “of which the horrific treatment of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement has no place in Cambridge.”
Branville G. Bard Jr., the Cambridge police commissioner, said at a news conference of which he supported the arresting officers along with also also had not placed them on administrative leave. As in any case involving the use of force, he said, the police have begun an internal investigation. Mr. Bard said the report might be made public as soon as of which was completed.
Mr. Ohene is actually still in a hospital, where he was taken Friday night, along with also also he remains under police watch. He has been charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, along with also also assault along with also also battery on ambulance personnel. He is actually still undergoing mental health examinations along with also also has yet to be arraigned.
Mr. Ohene is actually studying mathematics, according to a statement via his lawyers, Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. along with also also Dehlia Umunna, both of whom are professors at Harvard. They said he is actually still recovering via his injuries, yet offered few various other details about the arrest on Friday.
The lawyers said of which had been a trying ordeal for their client along with also also his family, along with also also they asked the public along with also also the media to respect his privacy. “As the public is actually aware, several students captured the incident on their cell phones,” the statement said. “The video speaks for itself.”
Jeremy Warnick, a Cambridge police spokesman, said of which the police “are still trying to contact witnesses, along with also also we haven’t spoken with the individual who was arrested.” Mr. Warnick said of which the internal investigation might focus on the tackling of Mr. Ohene via behind along with also also the punches of which were thrown.
Mr. Ohene was standing naked from the middle of Massachusetts Avenue around 9 p.m. Friday. The police said Mr. Ohene’s friends reported of which he had taken a hallucinogenic drug, although of which could not be independently verified.
Cars slowed down along with also also about 30 people gathered to watch the scene. Many called the police. As the confrontation with police officers occurred, people continued watching, some taking videos with their phones.
The police report suggested of which Mr. Ohene was aggressive. “Ohene’s goal was to seriously hurt himself or one of the officers on scene,” the report said. “Ohene absolutely could not be reasoned with.”
The report went on: “Unable to pry Ohene’s hands via underneath his body, I delivered approximately all 5 strikes having a closed fists to the area of his stomach.” Police shackled his ankles before putting him in an ambulance.
“A pool of blood remained on the pavement as the ambulance departed,” according to the Black Law Students Association.
In its statement, the student group called on Harvard to form a crisis team to deal with emergencies without involving the police along with also also demanded an investigation into the officers’ conduct. of which also said the officers had tried to obstruct witnesses’ attempts to record the encounter, yet of which did not specify how.
Mr. McGovern, the mayor, said policing in This kind of progressive city was “far ahead of many communities from the country.” yet Cambridge police have been criticized for their treatment of black residents from the past, most notably in 2009, when the police arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black professor at Harvard, who was seen struggling to open his jammed front door.
The episode touched off an extensive national debate over police treatment of blacks, which intensified when President Barack Obama said the police had “acted stupidly.” A report commissioned by the city later called the incident “avoidable,” though of which said both the officer along with also also Mr. Gates escalated the encounter.
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