State Police Trooper on Restricted Duty During Pepper Spray Investigation

A state police trooper was put on restricted duty Tuesday while an investigation is conducted into a pepper spray incident during Boston protests last week.

Massachusetts State Police said in a press release that the trooper, whose name was not released, will stay on limited duty until the completion of an investigation into a videotape showing what appears to be the trooper pepper spraying Kin Moy, of Cambridge, on Dec. 4. Moy was out with people protesting the decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

Moy told the Associated Press he was trying to record a man being arrested on a highway ramp when he was warned to move out of the way, or else he would be sprayed. In the video, which Moy later uploaded to YouTube, there is what appears to be an orange liquid running down Moy’s face.

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State Police said they had tried to get in contact with Moy, who was not identified by name in the press release:

The department attempted to contact the person in the video online in the comment chain under his video, and also sent two Internal Affairs investigators to try to speak to him at his residence as well as at a local gym. Though he was not located, messages and contact information were left at both locations. A message was also left by phone with a relative of the man asking him to contact the State Police regarding the incident.

In response to claims by the police about the contact attempts, Moy said on Twitter that “I’ve received no calls, and they missed me at my house and gym, but I do plan to speak with them accompanied by a lawyer.’’

Moy tweeted this immediately after:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said it was investigating whether the incident constitutes a First Amendment violation.

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