Video of police officer questioning black pedestrian draws criticism
The Boston Police Department is facing criticism from civil rights activists after video emerged appearing to show a tense exchange between a white police officer and the black pedestrian he stopped and questioned for more than two minutes.
The man says he was walking to the barbershop last week in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood when he noticed an unmarked police cruiser circle around him and stop, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB reported.
In the video, recorded on the man's cellphone, the officer in the passenger seat of the car asks the man if his name is Kevin.
"You look like someone we're looking to speak to," the officer is seen saying in the video.
After the man tells the officer that his name is not Kevin, the officer replies, "You sure?" before asking for his name again.
"Why you wanna know my name?" the man behind the camera responds.
The officer, dressed in jeans, a beanie hat and a Boston Police vest, then gets out of the car and continues to question the man.
"It's noontime on a Thursday," the officer said. "What are you doing today?"
In the exchange, the officer also asks the man about where he lived and whether he was "killing time, The Boston Globe reported. The man also asked the officer why he was being stopped and why the officer was "bothering" him.
"Are your parents proud of you for flipping off the police?" the officer asks at one point, apparently after the man gave him the middle finger, the local newspaper reported.
The video ends peacefully, according to The Boston Globe.
On Monday, the man appeared in a press conference alongside Boston civil rights leaders, who called for a department-wide directive focusing on street patrol training, among other issues.
“This has been an ongoing situation, when the interactions between the police department and members of our community, particularly those who are black and brown and male, are not friendly," said Jamarhl Crawford, an activist with both Blackstonian, a newspaper for "black Bostonians," and Mass Police Reform, an organization "working to reform police practices to improve respect for basic human and civil rights," according to their respective websites.
Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU of Massachusetts stressed the need for more data, transparency and accountability within the Boston Police Department.
"And we need to confront this narrative that the Boston Police Department 'does it right,' when there are so many examples of them not doing it right," Hall said.
The man involved in the incident was identified by the Globe as Keith Antonio, while the officer was identified as Zachary Crossen.
Boston Police spokesperson Michael McCarthy told the Globe that officers were in the area to monitor a house "known for gun activity."
In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for the department said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is aware of the incident and that the video is being reviewed "to determine if any rules or regulations were violated during the encounter."