Punish Officer Who Allegedly Manhandled Pedestrian Over Minor Infraction

Target: Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley

: Prosecute off-duty police officer for reportedly manhandling pedestrian who allegedly attempted to cut off Barrett’s car at a sidewalk.

An off-duty police officer in Boston reportedly manhandled a pedestrian who allegedly tried to cut off his vehicle at a sidewalk. Edward P. Barrett, the officer in question, alleges that the 54-year old pedestrian attempted to illegally cross the street while Barrett had a green light. He also alleges that the pedestrian banged on his window with an umbrella immediately thereafter. Barrett reportedly proceeded to get out of his vehicle, shove the man onto the ground, and then pin the man’s neck and face to the pavement with his knee. This type of excessive force, especially from an officer who was off-duty and particularly in response to such a petty incident, is completely unacceptable. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley must move to prosecute this off-duty officer for his alleged gross misconduct.

The incident between Barrett and this pedestrian was captured almost entirely on video by an innocent bystander. The video reportedly shows Barrett dragging the man up the street by his shirt following an initial, aggressive confrontation. It also allegedly shows Barrett telling the man that he is under arrest, though it is unclear for what exactly he is being arrested.

The man responsible for filming this episode is heard repeatedly asking Barrett to present his badge, though Barrett allegedly failed to do so. Instead, he called for more back-up, prompting three separate police vehicles to arrive on the scene for what amounts to a small traffic infraction. Barrett claims in the video that the pedestrian cracked his window, though the video appears to show only a small smudge from the pedestrian’s umbrella. Barrett also claims in the video that the man ran from him, though Barrett’s alleged failure to present a police badge means that such behavior certainly does not constitute resisting arrest or any other infraction.

Barrett’s aggressive actions, along with his insistence that the pedestrian was under arrest, represent a completely excessive use of force. Sign the petition below to urge District Attorney Conley to pursue prosecution of this off-duty police officer for his alleged gross misconduct.


Dear District Attorney Conley,

The alleged excessive use of force executed by off-duty police officer Edward P. Barrett cannot be tolerated. There is no reason for an off-duty police officer to abuse a citizen in a non-threatening situation for a simple civil infraction. It is imperative that you move to prosecute Officer Barrett for his reportedly gross misconduct.

Barrett’s reaction to a pedestrian who reportedly tried to make an illegal maneuver at a crosswalk was completely unwarranted. The alleged actions of this pedestrian (tapping on Barrett’s window with an umbrella) present no viable grounds for such aggressive behavior as Barrett’s reportedly physical confrontation with the man.

We cannot allow police officers, off-duty or otherwise, to violently apprehend and arrest individuals for civil infractions. Doing so would create conditions for rampant abuse of authority on the part of these officers.

I urge you to pursue prosecution of Officer Barrett for his alleged gross misconduct during this incident.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Stephen Harlowe

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  1. CAN’T STAND THESE MACHO POLICE WHO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT! Very disturbing and frightening.

  2. Heard he got fired for a nasty email regarding an e-mail likening Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., to a “banana-eating jungle bunny. He got SERVED…..

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