Another black Harvard man arrested

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Another black Harvard man arrested

I reside in Cambridge. And, the last time an unarmed black Harvard man in Cambridge was arrested, it made the news. It was when renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was mistakenly taken to be an unknown black man breaking and entering into someone’s home – it happened to be his – in 2009. It was a story that went viral internationally, leaving a pox on the city.

This recent arrest of an unarmed black Harvard man may go viral internationally, too, because the student is from Ghana and the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) prides itself in 2018 since the Gates arrest of being woke.

On Friday evening, April 13, Selorm Ohene, 21, was charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on ambulance personnel. The one incontrovertible fact all disputing parties-CPD officers, Harvard Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and eyewitnesses - can agree on is that Mr. Ohene was in crisis as he stood naked on a traffic island in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue near Waterhouse across from Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church.

A call to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) was transferred immediately to the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) and not the Harvard University Police Department- a piece of the puzzle still awaiting a response.

How and why a pool of Ohene’s blood remained on the pavement as an ambulance transported him to a nearby hospital for evaluation fits sadly into the broader and disturbing narrative of America’s culture of police violence and brutality, systemic violation of black men’s civil rights and their bodily autonomy.

The appropriate use of force is always in dispute when police contest black men’s compliance, and their safety during the incident. And usually, the outcome is fatal. With Ohene, some say he’s lucky because, the outcome was a physical altercation and not his death.

Ohene was pummeled with punches repeatedly to his torso. The CPD report depicts Ohene as wildly combative that three officers from Cambridge Police and another officer from Transit Police were the needed enforcement to gain compliance, place him in handcuffs and “avoid further injury to himself.”

“Numerous attempts made by officers to calm the male down were met with opposition and his hostility escalated while officers attempted to speak with him,” a CPD official put out in a tweet. “After he was observed clinching both of his fists and started taking steps towards officers attempting to engage with the male,