Off-duty BPD officer Edward Barrett leads pedestrian Milton Gurin down Boylston Street in May.a video from Facebook.

Credit: Screenshot from Stephen Harlowe Facebook video.

Evans: No Excessive Force In Boylston Street Incident Between Off-Duty Boston Police Officer And Pedestrian

September 20, 2016

Boston Police officials say they found no use of excessive force after investigating a May incident in which an off-duty police officer confronted a pedestrian who appeared to have crossed in front of his car at a crosswalk.

Pedestrian Milton Gurin didn’t know that the man he says cut him off while crossing the street was an off-duty police officer. Gurin hit the windshield of the car with his umbrella. The officer, Edward Barrett, got out, followed Gurin, and briefly detained him. Video from the scene shows Gurin on the ground, with Barrett's knee on his back.

But Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans says that the officer, by Gurin’s own admission, didn’t use excessive force, but rather that Gurin had tripped and fallen.

Asked why the officer had pursued Gurin in the first place, especially given that the officer was off duty, Evans said that Barrett believed that Gurin had cracked his windshield and pursued him because the officer "thought it was a felony." 

That would have prompted action, Evans said, even if the officer wasn't on duty. 

“We looked at it closely," Evans said. "We called in all kinds of witnesses, including his co-workers, including Mr. Gurin himself, who was a reluctant witness, to come forward to say he wasn’t slammed to the ground. There’s clearly no sign of excessive force.”

 Evans says that Barrett will face no disciplinary action.

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