For the second time since Friday, police in the Washington area are being accused of a heavy-handed response to non-violent crime involving young black men.
The most recent incident involved a suspected fare evader being pepper-sprayed at the Gallery Place metro station on Monday morning as the situation is caught on video. In the video, the man is apparently being pinned to the ground by four police officers.
The cellphone video began as police were attempting to handcuff the man, but it is unknown what actions occurred before the video started. The woman who recorded the video said she came upon the scene as it was already happening around 8:30 a.m. Monday.
In a statement, a spokesman for Metro said the officers were trying to arrest the man for fare evasion when "he failed to comply with police officers' repeated instructions and became combative. Officers deployed (pepper) spray to subdue the suspect and arrest him."
Tracye Redd, of Black Lives Matter DC, said he sees parallels between this incident and one last Friday, where a group of young black men suspected of selling water without a vending permit on the National Mall were handcuffed by U.S. Park Police. Those young men were ultimately not arrested.
"I see white people fare evade all the time, and they're not thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed,” Redd said. “Police see black bodies as weapons."
It is not known what charges have been filed against the man arrested in the Metro incident. His identity has not been released by police.