A Boston transit cop has been reassigned to administrative duty after a video emerged of a violent encounter between him and a female passenger aboard a bus filled with fightened and startled passengers, according to the Boston Globe.
The video shows the unnamed transit officer raising his baton and repeatedly striking the woman, who is also not named in the incident, which occurred Friday aboard the Route 15 MBTA bus in the mostly black Roxbury section of the city, the report says. After the baton strikes, the officer appears to push the woman into a seat in the back of the bus before she lunges back at him in a chaotic scene.
Transit Police Lt. Richard Sullivan told the Globe that the officer confronted the woman after a vendor in the MBTA’s Dudley Square Station accused her of theft. The officer walked with the vendor aboard the bus, where he pointed out the alleged thief, notes the report. She allegedly threw rubbing alcohol in the officer’s face when he asked her to step off the bus for questioning, the report says.
“He’s on a bus giving her lawful orders to cease her behavior and she’s assaulting him,” Sullivan told the Globe. “He obviously felt threatened.”
Twenty-four-year-old Nino Brown, who recorded a viral YouTube video of the incident, told the news outlet that “he was alarmed by the officer’s intensity, so he took out his phone to record the incident.” Brown, who can be heard in the video trying to calm both the officer and the woman, told the publication he is an organizer of Mass Action Against Police Brutality, an activist group.
“He ran up to her and began barking in her face,” Brown told the Globe in a telephone interview Saturday. “He didn’t do anything to de-escalate the situation or calm her down. He escalated the situation.”
Watch the video here:
Read more at the Boston Globe.