BALTIMORE (WJZ/CNN) – The Baltimore Police Department is investigating after a sergeant was caught on camera coughing near residents of a Southeast Baltimore housing project without covering his mouth.
In a statement, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said: “After watching the full video in its entirety, it is not only disturbing, but incomprehensible, especially considering the high level of strong and clear guidance that we have provided from the beginning regarding COVID-19.”
Baltimore City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed said Tuesday night that the actions of the officer were “egregious and insensitive” to the residents of East Baltimore.
City Council President Brandon Scott said in a statement: “Today I was made aware of a video of a Baltimore Police officer deliberately coughing at a resident as he walked by. I immediately forwarded the video to Commissioner Harrison for investigation and action."
Outside City Hall, Mayor Jack Young briefly commented on the incident.
"I really haven't seen the video, but I know it's been investigated," Young said.
The NAACP said the officer should immediately be pulled from having contact with the public and should be held accountable for his actions. The organization said the incident is “emblematic of the force’s failure to respect and build trust with the people of Baltimore.”
There have been a dozen cases of coronavirus reported within the Baltimore Police Department.
Over the weekend, 211 employees were quarantined out of an abundance of caution at one police district.