MA: Police arrest naked Harvard student


(CNN/WCVB)- Cambridge police are conducting a review after officers arrested a Harvard student who was standing naked in the middle of the street Friday.

Police say the officers tried to calm the young man down, and only resorted to force when those efforts failed. But some, including the school’s president and the city’s mayor say the video of the forceful takedown is disturbing. 

Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard: “Numerous attempts were made by the officers to calm down the male but they were met with opposition and hositlity.” 

Cambridge police say they responded to multiple calls for a man standing naked in the median of Mass Ave. on a busy night last Friday. They were told he had thrown his clothes in a woman’s face and was under the influence of Hallucinogenic drugs. 

Witnesses recorded the incident as police say they spent several minutes trying to talk to the Harvard student, 21 year old Selorm Ohene.

“After he was observed clenching his fists and moving towards officers the decision was made to take the individual down” said, Commissioner Bard.

Ohene was tackled. Police say he would still not comply and they struck him 5 times in the stomach to bring him under control. 

“The officers took the actions that they felt necessary at that time” said, Commissioner Bard.

But city’s mayor and Harvard’s president called the video disturbing. Students with the Harvard Black Law Association agree writing “The conduct of the CPD, was unacceptable. We are reminded, as soon-to-be-graduates of an elite law school that we cannot protect our bodies with our degrees…”

The three Cambridge officers are under review, but are not on leave. 

“You have to judge their actions within the context of a rapidly evolving situation and not with this ideal construct” said, Commissioner Bard. 

The student is facing several charges. He is in police custody in the hospital as he undergoes a mental evaluation. 

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