BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two people have been arrested in connection with an assault of a Baltimore City police officer.
A viral video posted to social media appeared to show an sergeant being assaulted while checking on a business in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue on Saturday.
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Sgt. Simpson, identified by Commissioner Michael Harrison, was reportedly conducting a business check on Pennsylvania Avenue when the suspect became argumentative and spat in the officer’s face.
He tried to arrest the suspect, and several other people began kicking the officer.
At a news conference, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Mayor Jack Young spoke out against the assault, saying they’re “absolutely outraged” and since then, other city and state leaders have weighed in.
“What we saw was appalling, it was unnecessary and it was downright criminal.” Commissioner Harrison said.
20-year-old Donnell Burgess was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrest. A 17-year-old male was arrested as a juvenile.
The police commissioner said the sergeant did nothing to provoke the assault.
In a statement on Twitter, the City’s police union said it was “disgusted by the video and blasted city leaders for their lack of a plan to address city crime.
In response, Mayor Young hit back saying Police Union President Mike Mancuso and union leadership should spend more time out on the streets and less time in the office.
Governor Larry Hogan released a statement, saying in part, “We absolutely will not tolerate assault of any kind of any member of law enforcement. We will pursue and prosecute those who assaulted this officer to the fullest extent of the law.”
“My reaction was wow. I can’t believe it happened on Pennsylvania Avenue.” said Karine Brown, the manager at Capitol Lounge on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The altercation didn’t happen in her establishment, and Brown said she was shocked to see what had transpired.
“I know this block, the people on this block are like family to me.” Brown said.
Some are saying it is important to nurture better relationships between police and the community.
“This is a royal city. We just have to appreciate that. And it’s going to take us building a bond with the law enforcement and that’s been hard but it’s not impossible.” said J’Monnie Walker, who saw the video.
Police have said the officer in the video did not sustain serious injuries and is doing just fine.