Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he did not think a Boston police officer was choking young man in an incident that was caught on video and posted online.
“I saw the video and certainly he was trying to get the young man into the car, there was no choking there,” Walsh told reporters following a speech at the Boston Public Schools Leadership Institute.
The video, posted on World Star Hip Hop, shows an officer with his hands around the neck of the man as he is being arrested. The man continued to shout obscenities at the police throughout the incident, as other officers dealt with a crowd around the cruiser.
“If there was choking, he would not be able to speak,” Walsh said. “I don’t know all of the particulars, but I have spoken to the Commissioner and I will be briefed later on, but I don’t view that as choking.”
The video made the rounds online and is the latest instance of police being caught on camera in the line of duty.
“I don’t mind the filming and I don’t think the Commissioner minds that, but there has to be respect on both sides,” Walsh said. “Police officers have to be allowed to work. We are working on community relations and will continue to work on that every single day, but there has to be respect on both sides.”
Walsh also commended Boston police for their work to avert a planned attack over the weekend at the World Pokemon Championships at the Hynes Convention Center. Police became aware of social media threats that were made against the event last Thursday and later arrested two heavily armed men as they attempted to enter.
“That was great police work by our department to avoid what could have been a very serious situation in the city,” Walsh said. “We are very grateful for their work and what they are able to do.”