Baltimore Cop Accused of Spitting on Suspect in Video
Sgt. Robert Mesner's police powers have been suspended
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2015 11:29 AM CDT
File photo of a Baltimore Police Department vehicle.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – A Baltimore veteran cop's police powers were suspended Tuesday and criminal and internal investigations are underway after a video appears to show the officer spitting on a man he arrested. The video surfaced of an arrest Monday night in northeast Baltimore in which an onlooker says Sgt. Robert Mesner, a 34-year veteran, spit on the suspect. Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the video shows Mesner's body and head move forward in a way that indicates he may have spit on the man under arrest, who was handcuffed and on the ground. The man was charged with disorderly conduct.

"The video appears to depict the police sergeant spitting on the arrestee," Davis says in a statement. "That is outrageously unacceptable and it directly contradicts the necessary community relationships we are striving to rehabilitate." Davis says police want to talk with anyone who was present and investigators would like to see any additional video. Davis adds he doesn't know what led to the encounter. Baltimore police will begin wearing body cameras later this month, a move prompted in part by the fallout after the April death of Freddie Gray.