VIDEO: Baltimore Police Sergeant Under Investigation For Coughing Near Heckler
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore police are investigating a video of a sergeant who appeared to intentionally cough while walking through a public housing complex (video below).
The video was posted to Instagram just before noon on Tuesday and featured a Baltimore police sergeant who was walking down a sidewalk inside the Perkins Homes housing complex in East Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“Hey Officer Friendly with the chubby cheeks,” the woman behind the cell phone video camera called out as the officer approached.
The video showed that as the sergeant approached, he began coughing in an exaggerated manner.
He did not lean into the woman to cough but he also did not step off the sidewalk to walk around her as she pressed toward him.
The video showed the sergeant continued coughing as he made his way down the sidewalk and across the complex.
Numerous people were outside in their front yards and saw the incident occur, the video showed.
The woman who was filming began yelling at the sergeant that black people don’t get coronavirus as he left.
“But you can cough your white a-- back where you live at,” she told him.
“Get the f--k outta here. What the f--k was wrong with him?” the woman behind the camera asked in the video.
Bystanders also began yelling at the sergeant as he walked away.
“I should call the CDC on his a-- and let them know he just did some dirty a-- s--t like that,” she ranted in the video.
The woman continued cursing at the sergeant after he was gone.
“The Baltimore Police Department has become aware of a recent social media video that depicted a police sergeant apparently coughing near citizens,” Baltimore Police Spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said in a statement, according to the Baltimore Sun. “We have viewed the video, in its entirety, and believe it warranted being forwarded to the Public Integrity Bureau for an internal investigation.”
Baltimore police have not identified the sergeant featured in the video.
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott said he was the one who sent the video to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and demanded an investigation, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“COVID-19 is not a joke and this behavior is beyond unacceptable,” Scott said. “When you are in public service, it is your duty to treat everyone with respect, especially in a time where we are dealing with both a public health pandemic and a gun violence epidemic. This is not behavior that we want our police officers or any of our public servants to model to our residents.”
Baltimore NAACP President Kobi Little called for the sergeant to be held accountable, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“We urge Commissioner [Michael] Harrison to make an immediate statement today, to the force and the public, that says that BPD has zero tolerance for misconduct during this public health crisis and is committed to responding sensibly, compassionately and responsibly as it patrols and answers emergency calls to maintain public health and safety,” Little said.
“This incident is emblematic of the force’s failure to respect and build trust with the people of Baltimore. It is hard to justify budget increases and spy planes when the police fail to engage the public with dignity and often are themselves a danger to the public,” the city council president said.
Watch video of the incident here below. WARNING: Language