BPD officer apologizes for racially insensitive video, suspended for 1 year

BOSTON — A Boston Police officer will be off the job for several months after creating a fake movie trailer with text that read, "black people have met their match."

"We don't tolerate this type of behavior. We work so hard to build community respect," said Commissioner William Evans.

Officer Joseph DeAngelo issued a written apology to the public in a news conference Thursday.

"I was taught by my parents at a young age to respect people of all races, colors and religions, and was taught that all people, no matter what they look like or where they come from, should be treated the same....We all make mistakes in life, and some are bigger than others. I made a big one and ask for your forgiveness," said the apology, in part.

"It was clear from Officer DeAngelo's interview that he feels significant remorse for his actions," said Evans.

Boston 25 News broke the story about the video, which had sparked an internal investigation at the department. Some of the text in the video said, "This summer Black people have met their match." Evans said DeAngelo made the video and sent it to friends, some of whom were police officers. One officer alerted the department to the video's existence on June 8. 

At that point, the main officer featured in the video, Dennis Leahy, was interviewed and placed on leave. Then, DeAngelo stepped forward and admitted that he made the video without was interviewed and placed on leave on June 15. Leahy was cleared of wrongdoing.

"He realizes now the magnitude of him playing games on this issue," said Evans.

Boston 25 News Live Stream

BPD holding news conference about racially insensitive video made by an officer, as first reported on Boston 25 News.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Evans said he asked many for what they believed was appropriate disciplinary action, describing DeAngelo's actions as "immature." He asked city council, clergy members, the NAACP, members of the Urban League and many more.

"His colleagues and supervisors said he's not that type of person, he's not a racist," said Superintendent in Chief William Gross, who is African American.

He will be suspended for one year, with six months to serve, Evans said. In addition, DeAngelo will take sensitivity training, unconscious bias retraining, meet with community leaders and volunteer in the community.

He's been a member of the department for 4.5 years. Evans said they will be watching him after he rejoins the force.

Urban League President Darnell Williams is part of a task force that works with BPD in the community and originally said he found the video quite disturbing.

Several African American ministers issued a statement saying they think the officer responsible should be fired, as well as Officer Leahy.

Click here to view Officer DeAngelo's written apology.

Click here to view written copy of Officer DeAngelo's Internal Affairs interview.

Click here to view written copy of Officer Leahy's Internal Affairs interview.