Massachusetts Cops Pepper Spray and Arrest Man for Video Recording Them


Massachusetts police pepper sprayed and arrested a man for video recording them after they ordered him to walk away.

Then they spent the next several minutes handcuffing  and stuffing him inside a police car while a woman who repeatedly identified herself as an attorney recorded it all.

The incident took place in a bar district in Northampton. And the video was uploaded today. Other than that, there is not much information available other than the following brief description:

Northampton, MA police arrest an innocent black man outside of Tully O’Reilly’s for no reason. All he did was take out his phone to start recording the police. He did not fight back, did not resist, but was pepper-sprayed and slammed onto the ground and arrested.

The video starts off with some type of police action across the street. Cops look as if they have made some arrests but the suspects are sitting on a sidewalk and everything appears to be under control.

Then we see a man standing in front of the officers, appearing to hold up a camera, which is when several officers storm up to him and order him to walk away.

He continues to stand there, apparently recording, which is when an officer unleashes a cloud of pepper spray in his face while two other officers pounce on him, tackling him in the middle of the street.

The man begins yelling out, “I didn’t do anything.”

The attorney, who is only identified as “tired ofit” and who created her Youtube account on Saturday, apparently to upload the video because it’s the only one she has, also begins yelling at the officers that he did nothing wrong.

And soon her female companion begins yelling at the cops, accusing them of racism because the man they are arresting is black.

Meanwhile, a security guard who apparently works at one of the bars in the area begins ordering the two women away, but the one holding the camera does a good job of standing her ground.

At one point, the security guard claims the public sidewalk is private property that belongs to the bar, which is something we’ve heard before but it’s not true.

The lawyer’s companion continues to shriek at the cops, which is one of my biggest pet peeves because it ends up drowning out everything else in the video due to her proximity to the microphone.

The lawyer also maintains the camera in a vertical position, which means we are left with a third of a screen of actual video.

But other than that, she did assert her rights in a calm manner when they repeatedly tried to get her to move away from the area.

While the video clearly shows the typical display of aggression we’ve become accustomed to seeing from police, many commenters on the Youtube video side with the officers, including the following doozie from a Lindsay Pedersen.

This is so stupid, and immature for an “attorney” to post. Way to be professional, you get a gold star. What this video doesn’t show is what happens prior to this event, I’m sure the guy wasnt standing in the corner with his phone minding his business. No I’m sure he was causing a scene and being disrespectful. Police have a job to do and it’s to keep the public and themselves safe, act ridiculous and you deserve it. If you’ve been to tullys, I’m sure you know this wasn’t a safe scene

While the man who was arrested did not physically threaten the officers, the cops will most likely argue that he was standing too close, which made them feel unsafe.

That still didn’t give them an excuse to attack him the way they did.

Northampton Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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