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Council President Scott's Statement on Viral Video Depicting Use of Force by BPD Officer

Council President Scott's Statement on Viral Video Depicting Use of Force by BPD Officer

BALTIMORE, MD (May 30, 2020) ⁠— Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott released the following statement on protests sparked by the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, MN and a viral video showing a woman being assaulted by a Baltimore police officer:

"Yesterday on social media, I was made aware of a video showing a woman being assaulted by a Baltimore police officer after she assaulted another officer. While the officer who was hit in the face did not respond with force, another BPD officer used a level of force that knocked the woman unconscious. 

I completely understand the impulse of police officers to protect each other, but that cannot come at the expense of citizens' rights ⁠— especially when interacting with someone who was clearly experiencing a crisis. 

What is depicted in that video is unacceptable and counterproductive to efforts to foster community-police interaction and deescalation tactics when citizens are in a state of crisis. I spoke to the Police Commissioner yesterday, who assured me that his team was on top of it, and I support today's announcement that the BPD officer who used a disproportionate level of force has been suspended. 

At a time when tensions are high and people are expressing their justified pain to ongoing injustice and gun violence, I need our officers to be focused on keeping people safe. Again, I thank all of the officers who are actively protecting the right of Baltimoreans to peacefully protest.

As someone who was at last night's protest Downtown, I thank the citizens who expressed their pain and frustration at our broken system in a peaceful way. As protests continue this afternoon in Baltimore, I encourage Baltimoreans to make their voices heard while looking out for each other and our communities. 

I will continue to be out on the street and in neighborhoods listening and talking to Baltimoreans. Collectively, we are tired, angry and sad. We know the status quo is not acceptable.

People need hope and reason to believe that they will have an opportunity for a better life, a better tomorrow for themselves, their children, and their neighbors. We have to pull together as one Baltimore to transform that hope into reality."

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