Another black Harvard man arrested

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Another black Harvard man arrested

officers made the tactical decision to grab his legs and bring him to the ground.”

However, since CPD officers did not “adhere to their stated commitment to using body cameras” and they obstructed bystanders and the BLSA members efforts videotaping the incident transparency of their intentions, actions and of the entire incident from beginning to end will always leave doubt about that evening. And in recalling the event, the BLSA offered a counter-narrative that suggest the CPD officers had no understanding or schooling in trauma-informed training, crisis intervention training, mental health training, and de-escalation techniques. And if these officers did, it all went out of the window immediately seeing a black male.

“He was surrounded by at least four Cambridge Police Department (CPD) officers who, without provocation, lunged at him, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. While on the ground, at least one officer repeatedly punched the student in his torso as he screamed for help,” the BLSA statement reads.

Racial profiling immediately comes to mind when we hear of an incident with white police involving black and brown males. And with Ohene, a Harvard student, you wonder if he were a white student standing naked and obviously in distress along Cambridge Common in Harvard Square would he had been so dehumanized and humiliated.

On reporting the Cambridge incident, “The Grio,” the largest online news source of black America, stated that both “The Boston and Cambridge Police Departments are no different than those in the rest of the country. According to the ACLU, 63% of police stops in Boston between 2007 and 2010 targeted Black residents, even though Black residents make up less than 25% of the population. As of 2015, the Boston Police Department (BPD) had spent approximately $36 million to settle lawsuits, most of which were tied to wrongful convictions and police misconduct.” While 30 onlookers were stunned and emotionally troubled by the police handling of Ohene, the use of force against him, according to Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr., was an appropriate tactical decision within police procedure. However, many Cambridge residents, especially of African descent are not pleased with Bard’s handling of and public responses to the incident. "In a rapidly-evolving situation, as this was, the officers primary objective is to neutralize an incident to ensure the safety of the involved party(ies), officers, and members of the public," Bard wrote. “To prevent the altercation from extending and leading to further injuries, particularly since the location of the engagement was next to a busy street with oncoming traffic, the officers utilized their discretion and struck the individual in the mid-section to gain his compliance and place him in handcuffs.” With just eight months under his belt, Bard, who is African American, is CPD’s new commissioner and is an expert in the study of ending racial profiling. Bard holds a doctorate in public administration from Valdosta State University, and a leadership certificate from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. His doctoral studies had a focus on racial profiling, racially biased policing, immigration, the Bill of Rights and public policy, and Bard’s the author of a 2014 book, “Racial Profiling: Towards Simplicity and Eradication.” Bard promises a cultural shift within the police force under his watch. After Gates arrest, Cambridge City Hall released a report to the public called “Missed Opportunities, Shared Responsibilities.” One of the findings in the report is that “When police believe they are not in physical danger, they generally should deescalate tensions … [which] can be a tool for helping to reduce danger by calming a person who is upset or unstable.” Had the arresting officers read this report along with employing the appropriate training techniques Ohene could have been helped- without five blows to the torso and a pool of his blood left on the pavement.