In an interview with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Bill Evans defended officer Edward Barrett’s right to “confront” a passenger who walked in front of his vehicle in the Back Bay, after the release of a controversial video of the following scuffle. “I think anyone would have a right to at least confront him,” Evans said. “It’s what happened once he confronted him that we’re looking at.”

The video shows Barrett, off-duty and wearing a Red Sox shirt, on top of a pedestrian with his knee on the man’s back. According to witnesses, the pedestrian crossed in front of Barrett’s vehicle at a green light and hit the officer’s car with an umbrella. Barrett then chased the pedestrian down, and the video shows him grabbing the man by his collar and pushing his knee into the man’s back. The video has sparked an internal police investigation on the 20-year veteran officer, who has been investigated twice before for allegations of excessive force. According to Evans, both incidents occurred over ten years ago, and were either found to be unfounded or not sustained. “I’ve talked to his supervisor,” Evans said. “They say for the most part he’s a quiet kid, [he] minds his own business, and they were a little surprised with what happened there.”

According to Evans, a timeline for the investigation is still unclear, but will require testimony from the officer, the pedestrian, and witnesses at the scene, including the person who recorded the video. The identity of the pedestrian has not been released. “What we’re looking into is whether he acted in an unprofessional manner, because both on and off-duty, we expect the best from our officers,” Evans said. “I don’t think anyone here would want someone to possibly break their window, and… we can’t be whacking people’s [cars with] umbrellas.”

According to Evans, Officer Barrett is still working on the force. “He’s working, yes,” he said. “A lot of our instances, unless they really rise to a level that we think he’s a threat, we don’t pull him off.”

To hear Police Commissioner Bill Evan’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the link above.