A Massachusetts police officer charged with confronting her son's 14-year-old friend over his support of the Black Lives Matter movement pleaded not guilty and was released without bail at her arraignment Tuesday.
Milton Officer Patricia Lio, 52, who is white, is charged with assault to intimidate for allegedly confronting the Black teen at her home in September when she was off-duty, The Boston Globe reported.
She was ordered by the judge to have no contact with the teen, who was sleeping over at Lio's Westwood home at the time.
Lio testified at a hearing last month that she became upset when she was shown a social media post by the guest that referred to the Black Lives Matter movement’s support for cutting police budgets. Westwood police say Lio aggressively confronted the Black teen about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, using expletives, clenching her fists and standing close to his face.
Lio is also charged with assaulting her husband, who tried to intervene.
She denied all the charges and her husband denied being assaulted. She has said the confrontation was not racially motivated.
Lio’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, said on Tuesday his client is a distinguished officer who has never had any issues in her life. The incident occurred at an “emotional time,” he said.
“I hope that cooler heads will prevail and this matter will be resolved,” Reddington said.
Lio said antipolice sentiment has made her fear for her life.
She has been on paid leave from the Milton police department since October and is due back in court on July 30.