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Photos prompt review of police handling of Boston protest

Boston police said they are reviewing officers’ response to a protest against a Tea Party rally on Boston Common Sunday.

The department was criticized after photographs circulated online that appear to depict a city officer with his right hand around the throat of a man at the protest. The man is wearing a bandanna that covers the lower part of his face. Both his hands are at his own waist, holding a pink wig.

Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department, said the photographs, which were posted to the picture-sharing website Flickr, appeared to be from the Common, when protesters rushed the stage at the event held by the Mass Tea Party Coalition, which had a permit.

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“The aggressive nature of these individuals required officers to call for numerous additional units to respond. The department supports the arrests made by the officers today,’’ Driscoll said in an e-mail. “As a matter of routine procedure following a day of aggressive protests, the department will review all of the activity that took place.’’

Paul Weiskel, a junior at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said he posted the photographs on Flickr. The protester “was not arrested and was not even detained,’’ Weiskel said. “So, I don’t see what justification there was’’ for the incident.

He said he does not know the man in the photo. Weiskel said he plans to contact the American Civil Liberties Union about the officer’s conduct.


Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com.