BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police say they are investigating a video, posted online, which shows an officer putting his hands around a suspect’s neck.
The young man was taken into custody after he swore at police officers.
The cell phone video shows the man yelling profanities at police officers before they arrested him for disturbing the peace.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans says the officer involved in the incident is a 30-year veteran and did nothing wrong.
“Because of him blocking traffic and his continual profanities, with young children, with a lot of people you could see he was agitating the crowd, clearly it rose to the level where he was disturbing the peace,” Commissioner Evans said.
There were several phone cameras out when the incident happened in Roslindale.
The director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s racial justice program, Rahsaan Hall, questions the officer’s actions.
“I understand the officers have attempted to explain that they were placing their hands on his neck to place him into the vehicle, but I’m sure there are other ways to do that,” Hall said. “And from the video it looks like the officer is more set on revenge or at least trying to silence him.”
Police say the fact that the suspect is talking, shows he wasn’t being choked by the officer.
“If you look at the video, he’s clearly yelling the way he was, ‘F the police’ and everything else his airway was in no way impaired, there was no real choking,” Commissioner Evans said.
What made the young man yell profanities at police is unclear, but officers say he had nothing to do with why they were in the area, making two drug arrests more than a week ago.
Mayor Marty Walsh is now urging the public to respect police on his streets.
“There’s a lot going on in the country right now,” Mayor Walsh said. “I think sometimes they get caught up in the heat of the moment and cooler heads have to prevail.”
Commissioner Evans stresses that the number of complaints against Boston Police has dropped dramatically in the last few years and so has the crime rate.