Officer allegedly punches naked, hallucinating Harvard student and is now under investigation

Officer allegedly punches naked, hallucinating Harvard student and is now under investigation
Cambridge Police are conducting an internal review on the use of force against a student who was naked, reportedly hallucinating on drugs and arrested near Harvard University campus. (Getty Images)

Video showing a police officer allegedly punching a naked Harvard University student who was reportedly hallucinating on drugs has led to a use-of-force investigation, WBZ-TV reported.

Police arrested 21-year-old student Selorm Ohene in response to 911 calls that Ohene was naked in the street throwing clothes at bystanders. He was charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery.

What’s the story?

When Cambridge Police Department officers arrived on the scene, they found Ohene standing naked on a traffic island. According to the police report, Ohene clenched his fists and began walking toward officers, who grabbed him by the legs and took him down.

A witness was recording video of the incident, and it shows an officer punching Ohene several times, according to Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, who called the video “disturbing.”

“We have high standards for our police officers in Cambridge,” McGovern said in a statement. “In most cases, the extensive training our officers go through results in the deescalation of dangerous situations. When confrontations cannot be averted and include use of physical force, we must be willing to review our actions to ensure that our police officers are providing the highest level of safety for all.”

Ohene apparently did not submit to authorities or medical responders easily, reportedly spitting blood at an EMT in the hospital he was taken to for evaluation.

What now?

McGovern said he intends for the investigation to be transparent. The Cambridge Police Department issued a statement saying the internal review would be conducted, according to standard policy.

“We must learn from this incident and always strive to do better, but I want to be clear: My colleagues and I take these matters seriously, and will follow this closely to ensure that all the facts are properly investigated and that the public is informed of any and all developments,” McGovern said.

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