A Boston police officer will be suspended for six months without pay after making a racially charged video that featured the tagline, “This summer, black people have met their match,” police officials confirmed Thursday.
According to the Boston Globe, Officer Joseph DeAngelo Jr. recorded the video like a trailer. The footage featured Officer Dennis Leahy—who police say did not know he was part of the video. The trailer opened with the words, “In a fight between good and evil comes an unlikely pair,” showing the image of Leahy and a dog wearing a cast. The footage described the pair as an “inept cop” and “a dog with a limp” before the words, “Black people have met their match” ran over the image of a black woman.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said that he struggled with determining an appropriate discipline for DeAngelo, who has been with the department for four years. Evans said that DeAngelo told investigators that the video was meant to be a spoof on Leahy.
“It’s a disservice when some of our officers behave like this,” Evans said. “We’ve built a lot of trust and respect in the community, and we want that to continue.”
DeAngelo ended up sending the video via text to three other police officers, a civilian employee and at least six others friends. He was placed on leave on June 15 after he admitted he’d shot the video.
“He caused some harm not only to his reputation, but the department’s reputation,” Evans said, adding that DeAngelo is sorry about his actions.
“I regret the embarrassment this has caused for the Police Department and regret that my actions may very well make our jobs as police officers more difficult,” DeAngelo wrote in an open letter of apology that was released. “We all make mistakes in life, and some are bigger than others. I made a big one and ask for your forgiveness.”
DeAngelo is expected to remain on probation for an additional six months after returning to work, the Globe notes.