Cleon Hodge, a citizen, and Sgt. Thomas Ahern, an on-duty plain-clothed police officer, accidentally bumped into each other in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Oct. 13 (video below).
WCVB reports that Hodge was charged Nov. 22 with disorderly conduct along with assault and battery after The Boston Globe published an interview with Hodge and cell phone videos of the incident on the same day, more than a month after the incident.
A 26-year-old woman, who filmed part of the exchange, has also been hit with two criminal charges, and a 52-year-old woman, who filmed the three of them, was charged with interfering with a police officer.
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The Boston Globe edited several video clips together. In the first part, the 26-year-old woman appears to be filming while she scolds Ahern.
In video that looks to be filmed by the 52-year-old woman, the 26-year-old woman reaches toward Ahern, and demands to see his police badge. Ahern warns her that she is going to get in trouble.
Ahern verbally identifies himself as a police officer, but does not appear to show his ID.
The 26-year-old woman calls the police for Ahern who curses at her seconds later.
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As Ahern searches Hodge, the 26-year-old woman tells him that he does not have a search warrant, but he keeps trying to search the African-American man.
Ahern denies bumping into Hodge in the video, which did not capture the actual alleged pedestrian collision.
Ahern demands to see Hodge's ID, but Hodge says he doesn't have it and accuses Ahern of being drunk.
At one point in the video, Ahern asks the 52-year-old woman where she works, but she refuses to say.
Ahern physically detains Hodge until uniformed police arrive.
In his police report, Ahern wrote: "I could see that his both hands were clenched into fists, which I interpreted as a pre-assault cue. I grabbed him by his shirt and told him to settle down and give me his ID."
"After about the third time of almost slapping me in the face with her phone, I pushed her phone away," Ahern said of the 26-year-old woman. "I saw that a crowd of about ten people had now formed around us. I called out to the crowd that I was a Cambridge Police officer and it had no effect."
Hodge told The Boston Globe: "Once I saw his badge, my hands go straight in the air. By my ears, straight up."
Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick refused to give a statement to The Boston Globe, but the Cambridge Police Department released a statement Nov. 22 notes WCVB:
The defendant (Hodge) made eye contact with the on-duty officer (Ahern), who was in plain clothes, was not on his phone, made no intention of avoiding a collision, and intentionally walked into and struck the officer with his shoulder. Hodge demanded an apology from the officer who continued to walk away from the scene. As a result of those actions and the manner in which Hodge responded to the initial encounter with Sgt. Ahern, the two charges were sought.
Donald Gosselin, who worked for the Boston Police Department for 30 years before retiring, told The Boston Globe: "I don’t see an assault and battery, you have to prove intent."
Gosselin said that if Hodge yelled at Ahern and made a scene, a disorderly conduct charge might be justified.