Profiled By Boston Cops Leads to Calls For Change

Cellphone video of an interaction between a black man in Dorchester and a Boston police officer is leading to calls for change within the department.

The video was posted to YouTube by a man who claims he was improperly stopped by an officer when he was walking to a barber shop on Thursday.

In the video, the officer tells the man he looks like someone named Kevin who police are looking for.

“What is your name?” the officer asks.

“Why do you want to know my name?” the man asks.

“You look like someone we’re looking to speak to,” the officer says.

The officer identifies himself as Zachary Crossen and steps out of his vehicle. The officer continues to question the man for about two minutes, before moving on.

“It’s noontime on a Thursday. What are you doing today,” the officer asks the man.

The man was joined by Boston civil rights leaders, who say the video reflects a pattern of treatment that contradicts the community policing model touted by the Boston Police Department.

“This has been an ongoing situation where the interactions between the police department and members of our community, particularly those who are black and brown and male, are not friendly,” said Jamarhl Crawford, of Blackstonian/Mass Police Reform.

The group has been told the department is reviewing the video and the officer involved, but they say it highlights the need for improvement across the board.

“We need more data. We need more transparency. We need more accountability, and we need to confront this narrative that the Boston Police Department does it right when there are so many examples of them not doing it right,” said Rahsaan Hall, of the ACLU of Massachusetts.