On Thursday, New England journalist Eoin Higgins reported in his Substack newsletter that a Boston Police sergeant who bragged about running down protesters with his patrol cruiser has been allowed to return to work, albeit in a limited capacity.
"Despite being under investigation after admitting on camera that he used a police vehicle as a weapon to run down protesters during an anti-racism demonstration last May, Boston Police Sergeant Clifton McHale is back in the squad room," reported Higgins. "'Sgt. McHale is on desk duty,' Boston Police Department spokesman Sergeant Detective John Boyle told me in an email. 'Each investigation is unique, but it is normal practice.'"
As Higgins noted, the investigation started after McHale was caught on body camera footage saying, "Dude, dude, dude, I f*ckin' drove down Tremont — there was an unmarked state police cruiser they were all gathered around," McHale tells an officer wearing a body camera. "So then I had a f*cker keep coming, f*cking running, I'm f*cking hitting people with the car, did you hear me, I was like, 'get the f*ck—'" After this point, he reversed himself and tried to claim he was joking.
Last year, The Boston Globe reported that McHale was also accused in 2005 of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman in an alleyway while on duty after agreeing to escort her to her hotel. Following an investigation of that incident, he served a one-year, unpaid suspension.
The news comes as the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd continues, and as new outrage about the allegedly accidental shooting death of Daunte Wright has led to manslaughter charges against veteran officer and police union official Kimberly Potter.