Cambridge police investigating after officer hit black Harvard student

A bystander's video shows four officers struggling with Ohene who was believed to be high on hallucinogenic drugs

A bystander's video shows four officers struggling with Ohene who was believed to be high on hallucinogenic drugs

A woman called 911 saying a man had thrown his clothes in her face.

A video taken in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been called "disturbing" by the mayor for showing a violent encounter between a police officer and an unarmed, naked Black Harvard University student. It was learned from his aquaintances that he may have ingested a hallucinogenic substance. Numerous attempts made by officers to calm the male down were met with opposition and his hostility escalated while officers attempted to speak with him.

When Ohene started walking towards the officers with clenched fists, they made "the tactical decision" to grab his legs and pull him to the ground, but the Harvard student continued resisting, stated the report. After determining the student had previously taken narcotics, law enforcement officials-including three CPD officers and one officer from the Transit Police Department-tackled the student to the ground. He was taken to a local hospital after spitting up blood.

He is charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on an ambulance personnel.

Two Cambridge police officers were also treated at a hospital for minor injuries and exposure to bodily fluids. As mandated by department policy, CPD is conducting an internal review in the wake of the arrest given the incident involved use of force.

"He is now recovering from injuries sustained during his encounter with the Cambridge Police Department", the statement from the university said.

The more than 7-minute video was released by Cambridge police.

Segun Idowu, a police accountability advocate in Boston, said it's too early to say whether police overreacted, but he can understand why the use of force resonates with some activists. I strongly believe that policing in Cambridge is not about arrests, but about helping people and working to get them the assistance they need. "We ask that those who know the victim's name not share it with others, that his name not be included in internal or external conversations about this incident and that, in response to this letter, our conversation be focused on the broader issues of police violence against Black and Brown people and the following demands, and not this particularized incident, which is a symptom of a larger, systemic problem". As this case develops, we can only hope that black lives truly do matter to the city of Cambridge, and justice is served. In most cases, the extensive training our officers go through results in the de-escalation of unsafe situations.

With regards to last night's incident, I have received preliminary questions and concerns from select members of the community.

Bard said at the press conference he is unsure whether the blood on the ground stemmed from injuries the student suffered during the altercation. "Help me, Jesus!" Eventually, a fourth officer helps restrain Ohene while another one can be seen punching the student. "You have to judge their actions within the context of a rapidly evolving situation and not within an ideal construct".

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. An ongoing struggle ensued. The officers held him to the ground until paramedics arrived, placed him on a stretcher, and put him in the ambulance.

Each incident our officers are involved in presents an opportunity for evaluation and determination on what alternatives can be done in the future for the most optimal outcome. "Policing is Cambridge is far ahead of many communities across the country, and yet we can always strive to do better".

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