Harvard Responds To Police Assault Of Black Student: 'Video Speaks For Itself'

The Criminal Justice Institute of Harvard Law School released a statement about the police assault of a black student on Tuesday, saying the "video speaks for itself."

Selorm Ohene, 21, was arrested on Friday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and charged with disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, resisting arrest and assault when Cambridge police found him naked in the middle of a street. A video taken at the scene showed police pinning the man down and repeatedly hitting him in the stomach.

A statement from the institute released Tuesday said that the Harvard student was still recovering from his injuries from the incident.

"He is currently recovering from injuries sustained during his encounter with the Cambridge Police Department," the statement from the university said. "This has been and continues to be a trying ordeal for Selorm and his family."

The statement continued on to say that the "video speaks for itself" and that there has "been significant extrajudicial commentary" on the case.

"Although there has been significant extrajudicial commentary on Selorm's case, we do not intend to litigate these matters in the media," the statement said. "At this time, our focus is on Selorm's health and well being. We hope that the public will respect his privacy and afford him time and space to heal."

Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard said on Monday that the officers made multiple attempts to calm down Ohene and that the mathematics student had his fists clenched when he approached the officers before the takedown.

"Once on the ground, the male continued to resist arrest," Bard said. "Three officers from the Cambridge Police Department and another officer from the Transit Police Department were required to gain compliance with the male."

Harvard University President Drew G. Faust told the university's newspaper, The Crimson, the video was "profoundly disturbing" and said the university was working with city officials and the Cambridge Police Department.

"We will be asking questions of ourselves, recognizing that the responsibility rests with the University to establish the conditions of trust necessary for effective campus policing and the delivery and coordination of effective health care," Faust said.