A Massachusetts police officer who threatened a 14-year-old Black boy over his support of Black Lives Matter was arraigned via a telephone hearing on Tuesday, May 18.
Patricia Lio, a 52-year-old white Milton police officer, became the subject of an internal investigation by the Milton Police Department last year, after she reportedly threatened and intimidated a 14-year-old Black boy who was at her home in September for a sleepover with her son.
Lio’s husband intervened to stop the exchange, and the then off-duty officer allegedly struck him. Lio has been charged with assault to intimidate for the confrontation with the teen, and with assault and battery for the attack on her husband.
Dedham District Judge Michael J. Pomarole ordered Lio via telephone to have no contact with the boy and to keep from abusing her husband, as she remains free while the case is pending.
An assistant clerk magistrate ruled that the case be treated as a criminal proceeding following testimony from Lio’s son and husband.
The encounter took place at an “emotional time,” according to Lio’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, The Boston Globe reported.
The Black teen was at Lio’s Westwood home in a suburb of Boston for a sleepover with one of her sons on Sept. 19 when the confrontation occurred. According to Risa King, the teen’s mother, he and his Hispanic friend were subjected to a threatening rant by Lio. Lio allegedly used profanity to express her disapproval of the Black Lives Matter movement, and approached the teen with clenched fists.
Lio’s testimony earlier this year indicated she was upset by a post the teen made on social media in support of the BLM movement and cutting police budgets. One of Lio’s other sons showed her the post.
The boy’s recollection of events include the following: The officer’s husband attempted to step in as a mediator, but she punched him in the face, causing his nose to bleed. The husband later testified that Lio did not strike him, and that the blood on his face was from a work-related injury.
Then, as the husband tried to take the two boys home, Lio allegedly banged on the windows of the vehicle and pulled on the handles.
“In the middle of the night, my son was kicked out of the home he was invited to be in,” King told WCVB last year.
Both boys made it home safely.
The Department of Children and Families conducted an investigation of Lio’s home but is legally barred from releasing the findings.
Lio said she is opposed to cutting police budgets and shared that anti-police movements have caused her to fear for her life, but said the attack was not racially motivated. She remains on paid administrative leave and continues to be the subject of an ongoing internal investigation. The nearly 20-year veteran of the force is scheduled to appear at a pretrial hearing on July 30.