Videotaped Incident Leads To Charges By Cambridge Police

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A police officer walks outside the Cambridge Police building. (Kevin Martin/AP)
A police officer walks outside the Cambridge Police building. (Kevin Martin/AP)

We look today at the controversial video of an encounter in Cambridge last month between an on-duty, plain-clothed police officer and a pedestrian. Cambridge police say after an internal review of the incident the police officer's actions were consistent with his duty obligations.

The video, shot by a bystander, shows Det. Sgt. Thomas Ahern, holding Cleon Hodge by the sweatshirt as they argue with each other. Hodge claims he was looking at his phone when he bumped into Ahern's shoulder, causing the altercation. In the video, Hodge asks for an apology for the bump while Ahern says he is detaining Hodge.

A criminal complaint has been filed against Hodge for disorderly conduct and assault and battery. Two bystanders who filmed the incident were also charged, one for interfering with a police officer and the other with assault and battery on a police officer and interfering with a police officer.

The Cambridge Police Department refutes Hodges' statement. A department report says Hodge made eye contact with Ahearn before intentionally walking into him.


Michael Schirling, retired chief of the Burlington Police Department in Vermont and executive fellow for the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Howard Friedman, Boston-based civil rights attorney.

This segment aired on November 22, 2016.


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Alison Bruzek Associate Producer, Radio Boston
Alison Bruzek was a producer for Radio Boston.


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Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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