A police officer in Massachusetts was arraigned on Tuesday, May 18 following an investigation into the threats she sent a 14-year-old Black Lives Matter supporter.
The Milton Police Department launched an investigation into officer Patricia Lio last year after she was accused of threatening the 14-year-old Black boy who came to her house in September for a sleepover, Boston Globe reports. Lio was charged with assault to intimidate the teen and assault and battery for allegedly striking her husband after he tried to intervene and stop her from intimidating the child, via The Boston Globe.
Lio denied the accusations during her phone arraignment where Dedham District Judge Michael J. Pomarole ordered her to refrain from contact with her son’s friend and abusing her husband. Her lawyer Kevin Reddington defended his client claiming the incident happened at an “emotional time,” after she welcomed the teen into her home. “I hope that cooler heads will prevail and this matter will be resolved,” Reddington said.
A Westwood police report says Lio confronted the teen with clenched fists asking if he supported Black Lives Matter, NY Times reports. Her reaction reportedly came after one of her sons showed her one of the teen’s social media posts referencing the Black Lives Matter movement’s support of defunding the police.
Lio denied that the attack was racially motivated and testified that notions of defunding the police have made her fear for her life. In her husband’s testimony, he claimed the blood witnesses saw on his face was the result of a work-related injury and not his wife hitting him. The Department of Children and Families investigated the Lio’s home, but the law barred them from releasing their findings.
Lio has been on paid administrative leave since October pending an “active and ongoing” investigation. Her pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 30.