A DC Metro Transit police officer is under investigation after he was captured on video shoving and tasing Tapiwa Musonza, a Black Howard University graduate with a degree in finance, over the weekend. Che’mere Jones captured the incident on video and shared the video on her Facebook account.
The DC Metro Transit officer used his taser several times on Musonza who appeared to be trying to deescalate a situation with two other officers who had apprehended a Black teenaged-male.
According to a police statement shared by the department via Twitter, officers were responding to a call about a group of young Black boys who were allegedly DC Metro passengers with sticks. Jones, who had just gotten off the train, saw the group with the police and decided to start recording using her cellphone.
MTPD has opened an internal investigation into an arrest at U Street Station yesterday evening that involved an officer using force. We take use-of-force matters seriously, and we are committed to fostering the public's trust in us. Below is our full statement. #wmata pic.twitter.com/O3bgtcpmhw
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) June 23, 2019
Che’mere Jones, who witnessed the entire incident, indicated via Facebook that Musonza was “trying to calm down the situation.”
“I just want to make sure that y’all alright,” Jones said on the video to another boy who was involved in the incident. “Because I see them looking at y’all and what I’m not about to do is have none of y’all get hurt.”
“What I don’t want is one of these colonizers trying to get on y’all about some sh-t because I’m going to have to go off and I ain’t got my nails done,” she continued.
Everything appeared to be under control until a rogue white officer came out of nowhere and attacked Tapiwa Musonza. The other DC Metro Transit cops, including several Black officers, allowed the cop’s reckless behavior. They could have told him that everything was under control, but they didn’t. They became aggressive with Musonza as he laid on the ground with his hands up.
Musonza was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. Jones’ video told a different story. The bogus charges were finally dropped on Monday.
DC Metro Transit Police said in a statement regarding the arrest, “An adult male patron who was not involved in the original incident allegedly began interfering with the police investigation and, according to an officer’s report, displayed behavior consistent with preparing to fight the officer.”
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Ironically, the police “were unable to find the person” responsible for accusing the boys of “threatening passengers.” The teens were released from custody.
Tapiwa Musonza’s attorney, Lee Arthur Smith III, said: “He’s still dealing with the trauma of the event, he was extremely shaken and very upset,” the attorney said. “He was having a calm discussion with two officers when a third officer entered the situation and assaulted him for what appears to be no reason.”