Veteran BPD officer on leave after students say he called them racial slurs

Veteran BPD officer on leave after students say he called them racial slurs

BOSTON — A Boston Police officer who has been with the department for over 16 years is being accused of misconduct while visiting a local school.

According to the Boston Police Department, the officer was placed on administrative leave after an incident report was filed on Sept. 13.

The Boston Globe reports that the officer, who police identified at Joseph Lynch, got into an altercation with high school students from Roxbury Prep High School in Hyde Park, at a McDonald's near the school last Friday, after someone called police because the students were being disruptive and wouldn't leave the restaurant.

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Parents told the Globe Lynch asked the students to leave and used racial slurs and physically pushed them. The students allege that he followed them back to the school and called them the n-word and "monkeys."

In a statement, the school confirmed the officer went onto school grounds and said numerous students and staff came forward to "express deep concern about the officer's behavior, both in terms of his actions and language."

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross has since reached out to the school to express his concerns, as well as his commitment to investigating the incident and ensuring the community is heard.

An internal affairs investigation has been launched by BPD.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins also met with students at Roxbury Prep this week.

"It is unconscionable, and the Boston Police Dept. is better than that," DA Rollins said. "If that individual used racial slurs referred to these students as monkeys and other derogatory terms, he should be looking for employment elsewhere."

In a statement, Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh said:

"These allegations are incredibly disturbing coming from anyone, and especially from a police officer. No one should experience racism or discrimination, not in a place of learning and not anywhere. We have to be better. I commend Boston Police for taking action as soon as they were made aware of the allegations, and I am confident they will investigate this case to its full extent."

Lynch has been placed on administrative leave, according to Boston police, who said they will not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

"This is unacceptable," Rollins said."This is not the MFA, where did you say watermelon or water-bottle. This is referring to young black and brown children and using the n-word and referring to them as monkeys."