A Baltimore police officer has been suspended after video emerged showing him spitting in the face of a black man who he then charged with assault.
The officer, Sergeant Robert Mesner, was placed on leave by interim chief Kevin Davis. In the video, Mesner can be seen following 31-year-old Alfred Evan after Evan had been arguing with him when Mesner broke up a group who were just standing around and talking.
Mesner follows Evan and his friends as one of Evan’s friends complains that Mesner is trying to provoke them. At this point, Mesner grabs Evan and forces him to the ground before handcuffing him and then turning him over so that Mesner can spit in his face.
A woman can be heard saying:
“You spit on him. He just spit on him!”
As Evan is taken into custody, an angry crowd forms, and another officer holds off the crowd with his Taser.
While Evan is put in the car, a woman is heard shouting:
“You won’t Freddie Gray that one!”
Evan was charged with second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
However, since reviewing the video, Chief Davis has suspended Mesner, saying:
“The video appears to depict the police sergeant spitting on the arrestee. That is outrageously unacceptable, and it directly contradicts the necessary community relationships we are striving to rehabilitate. The police powers of Sgt. Robert Mesner are now suspended, and a criminal investigation is underway. Our entire community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
You can watch footage of the arrest below…