A Boston police officer who made a racially charged video with the tagline, “this summer, black people have met their match,” will be suspended for six months without pay.
According to the Boston Globe, Officer Joseph DeAngelo Jr. recorded a cellphone video, which was shot like a movie trailer. The footage featured Boston Police Officer Dennis Leahy – who police say did not know he was a part of the video. The trailer opened with the words, “In a fight between good and evil comes an unlikely pair,” and the image of Leahy and a dog wearing a cast. The footage described the pair as an “inept cop” and “a dog with a limp.” The tagline “black people have met their match” ran over the image of an African-American woman.
DeAngelo Jr. has also been ordered to participate in sensitivity and unconscious bias training, meet with community leaders and perform community service.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans says DeAngelo told investigators that the video was intended to be a spoof on Leahy, according to the Boston Globe. Police later determined the other officer was unaware he was in it.
“It’s a disservice when some of our officers behave like this,” Evans said to the Globe. “We’ve built a lot of trust, and respect in the community, and we want that to continue.”
In an open letter, DeAngelo says he apologizes for his actions and regrets the embarrassment the video has caused for the police department.
“I regret the embarrassment this has caused for the Police Department and regret that my actions may very well make our jobs as police officers more difficult,” DeAngelo wrote in an open letter of apology that was released. “We all make mistakes in life, and some are bigger than others. I made a big one and ask for your forgiveness.”