On Monday, May 9, during school dismissal, Somerville Police responded to a call from a relative for a family matter requiring a response to the entrance to Somerville High School.
The Department’s Juvenile Officer and another uniformed Police Officer arrived at the High School. At the request and authorization of the child’s mother, the juvenile initially agreed to travel with the officer home and willingly entered the Juvenile Officer’s vehicle. As the Juvenile Officer prepared to leave, a crowd of students gathered around the scene. One student opened the rear door in an attempt to encourage the juvenile to exit the vehicle.
The uniformed Officer approached the second juvenile ordering him to move away. The juvenile backed away but refused to leave the area. The Officer further approached the second juvenile, placed himself between the juvenile and the unmarked police cruiser, and physical contact and a tussle ensued that resulted in the Officer bringing the juvenile to the ground.
As both the Officer and juvenile regained their footing and a short struggle continued, the Officer pushed the student back to create distance and disengage from the student at which time school staff stepped in to assist in deescalating the situation. The second juvenile was escorted away by an unknown female student with no further action by police at that time.
“Any use of force by a Police Officer is a serious matter. After a preliminary review of these circumstances, I have ordered the Professional Standards Office to begin an internal investigation,” said Somerville Police Chief Charles Femino.