BOSTON (CBS) – A suspended Boston Police Officer was sentenced to three years of probation Tuesday for a racially motivated attack on an Uber driver.
Prosecutors wanted at least six months in jail for 43-year-old Michael Doherty to send a message of no tolerance.
“A statement that is clear, that is convincing, and that is certain that race-motivated violence is a punishable offense that is intolerable,” Prosecutor Andrew Doherty said.
Doherty was convicted April 2 on charges of assault and battery and intimidation in the January 2015 attack.
He was off-duty when he took an Uber ride to South Boston. Doherty told the driver they were in the wrong location, then assaulted the man and took off in his car.
The driver, Luis Blanco, gave a victim impact statement at the sentencing, telling the court that if Doherty had been armed that night, he might not be alive.
“The way I look at it is, if this person was armed, would they have killed me that night? My daughter was a few months old,” Blanco said. “I just feel like it would be in the best interest, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, for Mr. Doherty to get help so that it doesn’t lead to a bigger problem down the line with someone else, or himself.”
Doherty has been suspended without pay from the police force. Police Commissioner Bill Evans has filed paperwork to fire him.
Luis was hoping for some kind of explanation or apology, which the judge gave Doherty, but he declined because he is appealing.