Treatment of naked Black student by police under review at Harvard
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 4/18/2018, 10:03 a.m.
Treatment by police of a Black man found standing naked on a corner across the street from Harvard University is being investigated. According to NPR.org, cops tackled him and then were seen punching him moments before paramedics arrived. The incident was caught on video, and after Cambridge’s mayor watched it, calling it “disturbing.” According to reports, Selorm Ohene allegedly had taken hallucinogenic drugs before stripping down to nothing and standing on a street island naked. When police arrive, at least four of them, they order him to step down. He appears to take a step toward an officer when another one tackles him from behind. Once on the ground, it appears in video clips that one of the officers – there are now four of them holding him down – punches the 21-year-old in the head several times. Bystanders can be heard yelling at the cops, criticizing the way they are treating Ohene. Once paramedics arrive, he is loaded onto a stretcher. The Harvard Black Laws Students Association, released a statement that indicated there was a pool of blood on the ground where the police tackled Ohene. Mayor Marc McGovern, a former social worker, released a statement as well, saying that his office will continue to work with Cambridge law enforcement to ensure that “horrific” treatment of Black citizens has no place in Cambridge. Police Commissioner Branville Bard – who is Black – defended the use of force and that officers used their discretion to “prevent the altercation from extending and leading to further injuries.” Ohene has been charged with disturbing the peace, indecent exposure and other charges. The incident is under review by law enforcement. Since video of the incident went viral, two Harvard law professors have come forward and said they will represent Ohene