BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis has ordered an internal review to determine whether officers used excessive force to arrest a teenage boy at Roxbury Community College.
Davis said he ordered the review after video footage of the arrest last week was recently posted on YouTube.
It shows at least one officer punching the 16-year-old and repeatedly using a knee to hit him as he lay face down on the floor, subdued by at least five police officers.
The teen is heard screaming and asking the officer why he was hitting him in the back.
The internal affairs review will investigate if the force used was reasonable and necessary.
Police say the teen was resisting arrest and the video only shows the second half of the incident.
The moments leading up to the arrest were allegedly recorded by the school’s surveillance cameras. That video has not been made public yet.
“Officers are trained to use that type of force in certain circumstances and so what we have to do is look at all the circumstances before we make a determination as to whether it was appropriate or not,” Davis told WBZ-TV.
A witnesses who wants to remain anonymous told WBZ’s Bill Shields that what happened after the suspect was on the ground was over the top.
“(The police officer) kept on hitting him for no reason in the ribs, in the head. He kneed him, he hit him in the head with handcuffs… and at the end he spit on him, like if he was nothing, as if he wasn’t human at all.”
Police said the boy was arrested Friday for escaping from a juvenile detention facility. He was being held on outstanding warrants and remains in the custody of the Department of Youth Services.
The police officer remains on active duty.
There is plenty of reaction to the video.
WBZ News Radio’s Carl Stevens has a wrap up of reaction from Boston City Council President Michael Ross, who calls the video “outrageous” while Mayor Tom Menino is reserving judgment until there is a complete investigation. We also hear from Thomas Nolan, a criminologist at Boston University and a former Boston police lieutenant.
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