Boston Police Sergeant Issues Apology & Takes Full Responsibility for Decision to Wave Replica Firearm at Videographer

Chief William Gross addresses media outside NAACP Boston headquarters in Roxbury.

Boston Police Sergeant Issues Apology & Takes Full Responsibility for His Actions: Five days after the taping of a video that showed a Boston Police Sergeant flashing a replica firearm in the face of a videographer and questioning his right to take the video, today, Sergeant Henry Staines met with the videographer and issued an apology. Staines and the man who took the video, herein referred to as Brother Lawrence, met during a face-to-face sit down meeting coordinated by civil rights leaders Darnell Williams, president of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and NAACP Boston President Michael Curry, at NAACP Boston headquarters in Roxbury. 

During the meeting, Staines stood up, looked Brother Lawrence in the eye, and offered a full, sincere and genuine apology and took full responsibility for his actions. Said Staines: “I’m humiliated and embarrassed. I’m my own toughest critic and five days ago, I let my city down, my department down, I let myself down, but more than anything else, I let Brother Lawrence down and for that I’m truly sorry and I take full responsibility.” Said Boston Police Chief William Gross: “For all involved, this was a teachable moment. Henry realizes he made a mistake and took full responsibility for his actions. His apology was heartfelt and sincere and Brother Lawrence – upon hearing the apology - graciously accepted it." Said Brother Lawrence: “The sergeant’s apology was sincere. Everyone deserves a chance if they do something wrong. I have made mistakes in my life. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t allow someone to have a chance.” 

Moving forward, the Boston Police Department will continue to nourish and strengthen the strong relationship that exists between our officers and the community members we protect and serve. Additionally, officers will be reminded to respect that fact that community members have a right to take video of their interactions with the members of our department provided it’s done in a responsible and respectful way.