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Baltimore mayor calls accusation of police spitting on man 'disgusting,' says officer should resign

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that a Baltimore police sergeant accused of spitting on an handcuffed person should resign.

"I think it's disgusting," Rawlings-Blake told news reporters at City Hall. "There are very few things that you can do to another human being that are that disgusting. We take it very seriously." 

The mayor said the case contributes to a poor relationship between the police and the community.

"It's somebody who, in my opinion, should resign," Rawlings-Blake said. "If that's how you feel you need to treat people, you don't need to serve. You're dishonoring your position."

Sgt. Robert Messner, who has been with the department for 34 years, is the subject of a criminal investigation and an internal investigation, police said Tuesday. He is suspended with pay.

Messner couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday. The Fraternal Order of Police has not responded to a request for comment.

The suspension comes after a video surfaced on social media that appeared to show him spitting on a handcuffed subject.

Bystanders in the video are heard shouting that the officer spit on the man.

The incident occurred on Old York Road on Monday night, police said.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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Update

The last name of the officer has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Sgt. Robert Messner's name.

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