BOSTON (CBS) – A video of Boston Police posted online is causing outrage. The officer was caught on camera appearing to wave a gun in a bystander’s face.
Police are firing back, saying you are only seeing half the story.
The video, posted on the Facebook page “Cop Block” starts with officers standing over a 14-year-old who has just been handcuffed.
Officers responded to a 911 call reporting two young men with a gun. Officers chased down the young man and discovered the gun was a very realistic looking air soft pistol.
Then, Sgt. Henry Staines approached the man with the camera and tells him to pan the camera away. The officer holds the gun up to the camera and tried to make a point about how real it looked.
“This is why we’re here,” Sgt. Staines says on camera. “Get a close video of this, you see that? That’s why we’re here. OK, have a good day.”
In the past year, Boston Police have confiscated 214 of the very real looking toy guns.
“Him holding the gun up was just to show him the dangers and the frustrations we’re having out there,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. “That doesn’t excuse his behavior.”
“If these firearms were pointed at you, you’re going to think it’s a firearm, not a toy,” Superintendent In Chief William Gross said.
Police say the officer was wrong to tell the bystander to move the camera. Officers let the 14-year-old go after giving him a lesson on the danger of having the gun.
“We’re just fearful that heaven forbid we get into an encounter where we end up shooting a young kid who has one of these toy guns,” Evans said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports: