A Baltimore police officer has been suspended after footage surfaced of him spitting on a handcuffed black man on Oct. 12. Sgt. Robert Mesner, A 34-year veteran of the department, is seen in the video following 31-year-old Alfred Evan, as bystanders accuse the officer of provoking Evan. He was forced to the ground and handcuffed, after which Mesner spat in Evan face. Interim police Commissioner Kevin Davis released a statement to announce Mesner’s suspension.
“The video appears to depict the police sergeant spitting on the arrestee,” the statement reads, according to The Baltimore Sun. “That is outrageously unacceptable, and it directly contradicts the necessary community relationships we are striving to rehabilitate. The police powers of Sgt. Robert Mesner are now suspended, and a criminal investigation is underway. Our entire community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Though there is no evidence of Evan assaulting Sgt. Mesner in the video clip, Evan was charged with with second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was being held on $25,000 bond, and was released on Oct. 14. Evan has not spoken with reporters, and court records had not listed an attorney for him as yet.
Sgt. Mesner is now under criminal investigation and internal investigation by the police department. Watch the footage of the incident below: