CAMBRIDGE, MA (WHDH) — A black Harvard student who police say was naked and high on hallucinogens was arrested on Massachusetts Avenue Friday night after a hostile encounter with responding officers, officials said.
The arrest was caught on video, prompting an investigation.
Cambridge police responded just after 9 p.m. to the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Waterhouse Street after a woman reported that a man had just thrown his clothes in her face. Soon after, police received about a half-dozen other calls reporting that a man was completely naked.
Police said officers found the man, later identified as 21-year-old Selorm Ohene, standing naked on a traffic island in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue. One of Ohene’s friends reportedly told officers that he had taken “narcotics, which could have a hallucinogenic effect.”
Ohene allegedly resisted arrest and threatened officers, walking at them with clenched fists.
“Officers made the tactical decision to grab his legs and bring him to the ground, however, the male resisted arrest once on the ground. Three officers from the Cambridge Police and another officer from the Transit Police were required to gain compliance from the male and place him in handcuffs to avoid further injury,” officials said.
In a statement, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern called the video, which shows a police officer punching Ohene several times while he was pinned to the ground, “disturbing.”
“Cambridge affirms that Black Lives Matter, but it must be true in practice as well,” McGovern said.
Ohene was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. While in the ambulance, police said he spit a mixture of blood and saliva at an EMT. Ohene is facing charges of disorderly conduct and assault.
Cambridge police officials are conducting an internal review of the use of force.
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