Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWPOINT Another Black Harvard man arrested
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2018-04-25

This article shared 829 times since Wed Apr 25, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


I reside in Cambridge. And, the last time an unarmed Black Harvard man in Cambridge was arrested, it made the news. It was when renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was mistakenly taken to be an unknown Black man breaking and entering into someone's home—it happened to be his own—in 2009. It was a story that went viral internationally, leaving a pox on the city.

This recent arrest of an unarmed Black Harvard man may go viral internationally, too, because the student is from Ghana and the Cambridge Police Department ( CPD ) prides itself in 2018 since the Gates arrest of being woke.

On April 13, Selorm Ohene, 21, was charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on ambulance personnel. The one incontrovertible fact all disputing parties—CPD officers, Harvard Black Law Students Association ( BLSA ), and eyewitnesses—can agree on is that Ohene was in crisis as he stood naked on a traffic island in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue near Waterhouse across from Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church.

A call to Harvard University Health Services ( HUHS ) was transferred immediately to the Cambridge Police Department ( CPD ) and not the Harvard University Police Department- a piece of the puzzle still awaiting a response.

How and why a pool of Ohene's blood remained on the pavement as an ambulance transported him to a nearby hospital for evaluation fits sadly into the broader and disturbing narrative of America's culture of police violence and brutality, systemic violation of Black men's civil rights and their bodily autonomy.

The appropriate use of force is always in dispute when police contest Black men's compliance, and their safety during the incident. And usually, the outcome is fatal. With Ohene, some say he's lucky because, the outcome was a physical altercation and not his death.

Ohene was pummeled with punches repeatedly to his torso. The CPD report depicts Ohene as wildly combative that three officers from Cambridge Police and another officer from Transit Police were the needed enforcement to gain compliance, place him in handcuffs and "avoid further injury to himself."

"Numerous attempts made by officers to calm the male down were met with opposition and his hostility escalated while officers attempted to speak with him," a CPD official put out in a tweet. "After he was observed clinching both of his fists and started taking steps towards officers attempting to engage with the male, officers made the tactical decision to grab his legs and bring him to the ground."

However, since CPD officers did not "adhere to their stated commitment to using body cameras" and they obstructed bystanders and the BLSA members efforts videotaping the incident transparency of their intentions, actions and of the entire incident from beginning to end will always leave doubt about that evening. And in recalling the event, the BLSA offered a counter-narrative that suggest the CPD officers had no understanding or schooling in trauma-informed training, crisis intervention training, mental health training, and de-escalation techniques. And if these officers did, it all went out of the window immediately seeing a Black male.

"He was surrounded by at least four Cambridge Police Department ( CPD ) officers who, without provocation, lunged at him, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. While on the ground, at least one officer repeatedly punched the student in his torso as he screamed for help," the BLSA statement reads.

Racial profiling immediately comes to mind when we hear of an incident with white police involving Black and brown males. And with Ohene, a Harvard student, you wonder if he were a white student standing naked and obviously in distress along Cambridge Common in Harvard Square would he had been so dehumanized and humiliated.

On reporting the Cambridge incident, The Grio, the largest online news source of Black America, stated that both "The Boston and Cambridge Police Departments are no different than those in the rest of the country. According to the ACLU, 63% of police stops in Boston between 2007 and 2010 targeted Black residents, even though Black residents make up less than 25% of the population. As of 2015, the Boston Police Department ( BPD ) had spent approximately $36 million to settle lawsuits, most of which were tied to wrongful convictions and police misconduct."

While 30 onlookers were stunned and emotionally troubled by the police handling of Ohene, the use of force against him, according to Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr., was an appropriate tactical decision within police procedure.

However, many Cambridge residents, especially those of African descent, are not pleased with Bard's handling of and public responses to the incident.

"In a rapidly-evolving situation, as this was, the officers primary objective is to neutralize an incident to ensure the safety of the involved party( ies ), officers, and members of the public," Bard wrote. "To prevent the altercation from extending and leading to further injuries, particularly since the location of the engagement was next to a busy street with oncoming traffic, the officers utilized their discretion and struck the individual in the mid-section to gain his compliance and place him in handcuffs."

With just eight months under his belt, Bard, who is African-American, is CPD's new commissioner and is an expert in the study of ending racial profiling. Bard holds a doctorate in public administration from Valdosta State University, and a leadership certificate from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His doctoral studies had a focus on racial profiling, racially biased policing, immigration, the Bill of Rights and public policy, and Bard's the author of a 2014 book, Racial Profiling: Towards Simplicity and Eradication. Bard promises a cultural shift within the police force under his watch.

After Gates arrest, Cambridge City Hall released a report to the public entitled "Missed Opportunities, Shared Responsibilities." One of the findings in the report is that "When police believe they are not in physical danger, they generally should deescalate tensions … [which] can be a tool for helping to reduce danger by calming a person who is upset or unstable."

Had the arresting officers read this report along with employing the appropriate training techniques Ohene could have been helped—without five blows to the torso and a pool of his blood left on the pavement.


This article shared 829 times since Wed Apr 25, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Ugandan law, Japan, Cass report, Tegan and Sara, Varadkar done
2024-04-12
Ugandan LGBTQ+-rights activists asked the international community to mount more pressure on Uganda's government to repeal an anti-gay law that the country's Constitutional Court refused to nullify, PBS reported. Activist ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans woman killed, Tenn. law, S. Carolina coach, Evan Low, Idaho schools
2024-04-12
Twenty-four-year-old Latina trans woman and makeup artist Meraxes Medina was fatally shot in Los Angeles, according to the website them, citing The Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times they found Medina's broken fingernail and a ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Meditation on the killing of journalists
2024-04-11
Trigger warning: I am a journalist and I read newspapers. I've been reading newspapers since I first learned to read. Newspapers were a lively part of the daily life in my family. I even wrote letters ...


Gay News

LPAC, Arizona LGBTQ officials denounce Arizona Supreme Court ruling on abortion
2024-04-10
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Yesterday, in a decision that starkly undermines reproductive freedoms, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to enforce a 160-year-old law that criminalizes abortion and penalizes healthcare providers who ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQIA leaders applaud U of South Carolina head coach Staley for standing up for trans athlete inclusion
2024-04-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — On Sunday, April 7, the University of South Carolina's women's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship. Ahead of the championship game, South Carolina's head coach Dawn Staley made comments in support of transgend ...


Gay News

NAIA bans trans athletes from women's sports
2024-04-08
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on April 8 that athletes will only be allowed to compete in women's sports if they were assigned female at birth, CBS Sports reported. The NAIA's Council of ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: NAIA proposed transgender sports ban disappointing, harmful reversal
2024-04-08
Lambda Legal: NAIA Proposed Transgender Sports Ban a Disappointing and Harmful Reversal "The NAIA announcement sends a dangerous message, is inconsistent with the law and science, and undercuts the organization's ...


Gay News

For Deb Robertson, the end-of-life issue is very real
2024-04-07
For just about everyone, life is hard enough. However, talking about ending that life—especially when one is terminally ill—is just as difficult. Ten states have authorized medical aid in dying, although Illinois is not one of ...


Gay News

KFF survey shows extent of LGBT-related discrimination
2024-04-07
KFF—an independent source of health policy research, polling and journalism—released "LGBT Adults' Experiences with Discrimination and Health Care Disparities: Findings from the KFF Survey of Racism, Discrimination, and Health." This ...


Gay News

Lightfoot may be hired to investigate Dolton mayor, trustees
2024-04-06
A group of Dolton trustees is aiming to hire former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot—who is also an ex-federal prosecutor—to investigate Mayor Tiffany Henyard, media outlets reported. The group wants Lightfoot ...


Gay News

Ugandan court mostly upholds harsh anti-LGBTQ+ law
2024-04-04
On April 3, Uganda's constitutional court refused to annul or suspend an anti-LGBTQ+ law that includes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, Reuters reported. However, the judicial body voided some provisions that it said were ...


Gay News

DoJ accuses Utah of bias against incarcerated trans woman
2024-04-03
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Utah, including the Utah Department of Corrections (UDOC), alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ...


Gay News

How safe are we really? A look into Illinois' LGBTQ+ protections as hate rises nationwide
2024-04-02
Illinois has long been known to have some of the strongest LGBTQ+ legal protections in the country. Its first anti-discrimination laws go back several decades, and the state boasts a wide variety of protections of LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

First of LGBTQ+-owned dispensaries set to open in Northalsted
2024-04-01
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - Since 1970, 3340 N Halsted St. had been the home of the Townhall Pub, the beloved cash-only dive bar known for its tasty drinks and friendly staff. But after Townhall's former owner William Bucholtz passed away ...


Gay News

SAVOR The Inspired Home Show, Uncle Julio's closes, Malort cocktails
2024-03-30
Getting inspired: On March 17-19, The Inspired Home Show—a massive display of current and upcoming products focused on cooking, cleaning, containing and much more—occurred at McCormick Place. Battery-run lawn mowers ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.