Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe
  /  04.17.2021

An assistant clerk with the Dedham District Court in Massachusetts ruled this week that a white police officer will face criminal charges for scolding her son’s Black friend. 

The New York Times reports Officer Patricia Lio of the Milton Police Department will face charges of assault and battery on a household member and assault to intimidate for her role in an incident that took place at her house last year.

On September 19, 2020, court documents reveal Officer Lio’s teenage son was hosting a sleepover with two of his friends. At some point during the night, Lio allegedly berated her son’s Black friend because he supported the Black Lives Matter movement and called her son’s Hispanic friend an immigrant.

The Black child’s mother, Risa King, is a lawyer. She filed the suit after her son explained what happened when he visited Officer Lio’s house. According to King, her son said his pal’s mom grew angry about something Black Lives Matter related while they watched the Boston Celtics playoff game in another room.

Lio was apparently complaining about the movement and using curse words while she cried out how unfair BLM is to police. That’s when she turned her fury toward her son’s minority friends. She spewed racist criticism at King’s son and the Hispanic boy visiting her house. Both boys were 14 years old at the time.

After asking the Hispanic boy to leave the house, Lio allegedly punched her husband in the nose and then called King’s son “ignorant” and “brainwashed.” She also called Black Lives Matter a “scam.” King’s son said he smelled alcohol on Lio’s breath during her meltdown. 

“He was only targeted because he’s Black,” King told The Boston Globe last year. “He’s never going to forget this. He’s going to live with this for the rest of his life.”

King also stated that her son did not discuss Black Lives Matter or his views of police with Officer Lio despite conflicting reports saying Lio was enraged by a social media post by King’s son. King asked police to consider assault and hate crime charges against Lio.

Lio’s attorney, Douglas Louison, previously said that his client’s actions were “not racially motivated or intended to make the young man feel uncomfortable in any way.” “It wasn’t hostile and it wasn’t confrontational,” Louison said. Lio has been a police officer at the Milton Police Department for nearly 20 years. She was placed on administrative leave in October, as the department investigates the matter. Officer Lio is scheduled to be arraigned in late May.


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