AFRICANGLOBE – Video of a Baltimore police officer spitting on a handcuffed Black man is going viral and generating a wave of outrage demanding accountability.
On Monday, Sgt. Robert Mesner — a 34-year-veteran of the Baltimore Police Department — was filmed arresting 31-year-old Alfred Evan outside an apartment building. According to witnesses at the scene, the incident began when officers pulled up to the building’s entrance and ordered a group of people sitting on a stoop to disperse. As the event unfolded, Evan was arrested and charged with second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. He was briefly held on $25,000 bail.
Witnesses on the scene along with Kwame Rose, the man who filmed the video, allege that Sgt. Mesner spit on Evan while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground face-first. At the 1:25 mark of the video, Mesner is seen leaning over Evan and appearing to spit on him:
“I think it’s disgusting,” Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the Baltimore Sun. “There are very few things that you can do to another human being that are that disgusting. We take it very seriously.”
Even Baltimore’s interim police chief, Kevin Davis, acknowledged that Mesner’s actions were reprehensible, especially given the escalated tensions between the police department and the community in the wake of the mass protests following Freddie Gray’s murder. Davis has asked that all witnesses of the event come forward.
“The video appears to depict the police sergeant spitting on the arrestee,” Davis said. “That is outrageously unacceptable and it directly contradicts the necessary community relationships we are striving to rehabilitate.”
As a result of the public pressure created by the viral video, charges are expected to be filed against Sgt. Mesner in the coming days.
— Kwame Rose (@kwamerose) October 14, 2015
By: Amanda Girard