Home / Massachusetts Cops Pepper Spray and Arrest Man for Video Recording Them

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.
  • FTP

    If glik got $170K,….this man’s gonna get at least $250K

    • Joshua B.

      I suspect this guy will get substantially less than Glik (if he gets anything at all) by virtue of the fact that he is black, foreign, and not a lawyer. Sad, but true.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        There is also the fact that Glik was standing further from the officers. It would be easier for the officers to claim interference, not that I am condoning what they did.

        • steveo

          Simon Glik was reported (by the appellate court) to be standing 10 ft from the officers that were affecting the arrest. Personally, I think 10 ft is too close. In FL, the States Attorney in my jurisdiction said that speech is protected within 15 to 30 feet from a leos arrest or investigation area if the bystander is lawfully present. The States Attorney was careful not to single out a bystander with his thumb in his mouth or a bystander with a recording device.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I agree.

    • n4zhg

      The amount doesn’t matter as long as it isn’t garnished from the so-called officers’ paychecks, or from their pension funds, or from their union assets. Until these “officers” feel the pain, nothing will change. May not change even then. What it probably will take is for the FBI or US Marshals to show up at roll call and perp walk these pigs out of the stationhouse in front of cameras like they do to us.

      • http://www.FireKarlRove.com/ C. Edmund Wright

        You are right, and sadly, many cops are more about their “unions” than they are about law abiding citizens these days. They are becoming the enemy of the law abiding tax payer….

      • Difdi

        Given how lawless some cops are getting, I could even see the police attacking the “rival gang” in FBI colors when they came to do that perp walk…

  • Jesse Clark

    Looks like law schools need to teach prospective attorneys to turn their phone sideways when recording.

    • th3harol

      lmao yep!

    • BobN

      only if it’s an i-phone. Android based phones film vertically

  • steveo

    Ok, here’s my analysis

    1) turn it to landscape, please……
    2) Don’t talk to the police.especially yelling anything especially profanity
    3) Stay lawfully present: on the public sidewalk you are always lawfully present
    4) You don’t have to start walking if you are lawfully present, like the narrator says
    5) Even if you are an officer of the court, don’t tell them that, be like a MIME: mime’s have the right to remain silent and I think you do too. :

    the leos were affecting an arrest, we don’t really, from the video, know why they were affecting an arrest, but somebody in the group should have started this video when ever the 1st leo arrived.

    In MA, there are still alot of murders, rapes, armed robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts to keep the leos busy. They don’t need to be involved in ridiculous, victimless crimes like this particular Kabuki dance. The murderers, rapists and armed robbers usually don’t carry around video cameras to record what they do. Maybe these Leos should look for criminals.

    • Difdi

      And those murderers, rapists and armed robbers who do carry around video cameras and post confessions to Facebook are quite easy to catch too.

  • steveo

    It would be good if Carlos would comment on this because he is an experienced “credentialed” crime reporter. But in a fluid situation like this, when you have a photojournalists camera on an active push and shove, violent crime scene, What does one do?

    You’ve got your recording device out and you are recording real time raw action, do you retreat? do you continue to record, but from a distance? Do you go to the public sidewalk? I’m thinking that in this kind of a situation the journalist tries to capture all the action as best as possible, retreating when he/she has to, but never giving up the right to document government activity in public.

    The videographer has to have the first responsibility of capturing the best data that he/she can, then retreat if they feel like they might be injured or arrested by law enforcement, but never turning off the camera.

    • Carlos_Miller

      The first thing I would have done is jump on the sidewalk, so the cops couldn’t arrest me for standing on the street. Then if the cops start shouting at me to move back, I would take a step or two back, just to show I am complying, but I would also keep my camera on and I would ask, “where would you like me to stand?”

      A lot of cops would be happy that you are complying and might leave you alone for a few seconds before they start challenging you again.

      If they tell you to move all the way back where it’s impossible to record, then you need to remain assertive and remind them that you have the right to be on the sidewalk and point out to them that you are not interfering with their investigation.

      I always tell them that I’m doing a job just as they are, so let’s try to respect each other.

      If people are walking around as they were doing in this instance, then you have the right to stand there and record. Non-journalists don’t have any less rights than journalists but they also don’t have any more rights.

      A lot of times what will happen is that the cops will bring out their yellow crime tape to set up a perimeter, which you must respect or else you will be lawfully arrested.

      It doesn’t seem as if these cops would have gone through those stages I just mentioned because they just pounced on him.

      • steveo

        With all this said, it just seems that like high speed chases, when there is a call to the leos over a disturbance at a bar right before or during closing time, you can be sure somebody is going to get his ass beat by the 15 cars of leos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/motcarla Carla Landenberger Grant

    Sending the clip to the Board of Bar Overseer’s – maybe we’ll see if they think a drunk Rachel Rothman of Northampton (and her “friend” Lauren Marcous of Sprinfield) should be interjecting herself into incidents, committing “disorderly conduct” “inciting a riot” and “Public drunkenness” as well as interfering with police.

    Nice edit of her “filming” – she cut out where the “dude” was trying to beat on the bar guy.
    I think she also committed a civil rights violation too…. but she’s the Dr of Law and afterall “She’sh annnnnattttoooorneyyyyy” she’d know!

    • Carlos_Miller

      Who the fuck are you, the Mother Pig Hen?

    • JdL

      Sending the clip to the Board of Bar Overseer’s

      Oh no, anything but that!

      Which are you, a cop or a cop’s wife? Either way, I’m afraid you’re in for a lot of unhappiness: the practice of recording cops is in the process of exploding, and the more the criminal gang in blue tries to suppress it, the worse it’ll be for them. We’re talking seriously bad publicity, and ultimately (once the nation finally stops giving them a free ride for their endless criminal behavior), prosecution.

      Have a nice day! ;-)

      • FTP

        It’s already happening ! LOL From DA’s been shot, to prison execs being slaughtered. Today a Police Chief was slaughtered. I’d say the people have spoken and the civilian Star Chamber has started. Cop family members will probably be on the next hit list. Kinda like in Iraq. I’m gonna get me some popcorn because the movie is just starting. : )

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          If you support those actions, you need some serious help. The Kaufman County, Texas cases appears, at this point, to involve retribution for prosecuting the Aryan Brotherhood, a racist drug trafficking organization. The Colorado prison boss was killed by a released felon member of the 211 Crew/Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance. Sort of a trend, isn’t it.

          Are those the people you want to associate with and support?

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Carla, you’re an idiot. There was clearly no disorderly conduct, inciting a riot, or public drunkenness on the photographer’s part.

      The video also contradicts what the officers put in their report.

  • Jackie Cichy

    This is absolutely terrible! I was brought by ambulance to CDH, they thought I had od’d on tylenol, which I had tried to explain to them I did not, they forced charcoal down my throat, called the NHPD, who picked me directly up from hospital, before the release of my bowels. I tried to explain this to the police, from the back seat of the cruiser, telling them, I needed a bathroom, they told me I talked too much, shut up! My Bowels let go, they accused me of doing this on purpose, said, “we’ll fix her”, then brought me out into nowhere, kicked me out of the cruiser onto the ground, kicking me, making me scream in pain, I asked why, they said, “shut up”! They stepped on my head, held my mouth open, Pepper-sprayed my eyes completely, placed the pepper spray in my mouth, spraying down my throat! This was 2008, to this day I cannot breathe correctly. They accused me of assault and battery, to keep themselves out of trouble! Not One Attorney, that I could find would help me, they either said (no way),(or they had to work with the police on a daily basis and were scared). Well I was, and still am the one who is scared of these police, I will not leave the house to this day.

    • FTP

      If that were to happen to me,….they would not be around today. Patience is my friend. I would have dealt them a horrifying ending. Imagine knowing it’s about to end,….pretty terrifying actually.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        Bold talk for an internet wannbe.

        • Difdi

          Aren’t you technically an internet wannabe lawyer? =P

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            No, not since I’m actually in law school, lol.

            I just don’t have much use for people that encourage the taking of life where it is not necessary.

          • JdL

            I just don’t have much use for people that encourage the taking of life where it is not necessary.

            OK, well and good, but what would you recommend Jackie Cichy do? Other than say “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

            When the official avenues of “justice” dispense only injustice, another avenue for dealing with the criminals in law enforcement WILL arise.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            You mean besides tell the rest of the story? And tell the truth?

            Her facebook page, which is linked to her profile, shows that she’s lying about something. A statement that she hasn’t left the house since 2009 doesn’t match her facebook trips to Maine, R.I., Florida.

            The fact that her brother is or was a cop raises questions too.

            Criminals in law enforcement are dealt with–maybe not as well as they should be, but nothing shown here merits the death penalty, and certainly not death by a vigilante.

  • rick

    Hey dipshits!

    Who’s Simon Glik?
    Where was he arrested?
    Why was he arrested?
    How much was his settlement?

  • rick

    The shout out was directed at MA police.

  • mvpel
  • http://twitter.com/pronoblem pronoblem

    This is the Northampton Attorney that authored this video: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-rothman/16/b68/95a Carlos, thanks for posting.

  • Andrew Ogiba

    The guy was just recording them then one cop gets in his face then tells him to “walk the fuck away” then “get the fuck out of here”. Another cop then sprays him with mace, with two other ones tackle him to the ground. I would say im shocked, but after following this site for log and seeing how police like to operate, it doesn’t really surprise me anymore.

  • Carlos_Miller

    I called her office for comment but she is out until tomorrow, according to her voice recording

  • http://www.facebook.com/crfairchild Cecelia Freechild
  • Proud GrandPa

    Carlos,

    In related news, what do you think about GPS req’d for LEO? This article may interest you.

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/04/01/lowell-city-council-to-vote-on-plan-that-tracks-police-with-gps/

    LOWELL (CBS) – Lowell’s City Council will vote Tuesday night on a new police patrolmen’s contract that includes a controversial plan to track officers.

    Under the new contract, GPS consoles on police cruisers will finally be put to use. The city has paid $230 per month for the last nine months for the system, but the patrolmen’s union had previously expressed concerns
    There’s always some concern about maybe abuses and things like that,” Deputy Police Superintendent Arthur Ryan says. “But clearly this day and age this technology is really necessary.”

  • http://twitter.com/pronoblem pronoblem

    Yeah. It appears so. She did reply to me on FB and was interested in some corrections. “Her female companion” The other voice is the girlfriend of the man arrested. She says “we are lawyers” that is her and someone not heard off-camera. Hopefully she will clarify.

  • n4zhg

    GPS is small potatoes. Talk to me when they are wearing 4G web cameras.

  • Carlos_Miller

    The more we can hold them accountable, the better.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    GPS on squads have been around for awhile. Before I left police work, I had to deal with a complaint that one of my officers was driving in and out of traffic at 80 mph on the freeway. GPS allowed me to determine that the officer had a max speed in that area of 57 mph (in a 65 mph zone), which considering the time of day and normal traffic conditions was about right.

    Another local agency used GPS to determine the location of an “officer down” call.

    Most computer-aided dispatch systems will use GPS to recommend the nearest unit.

    As a supervisor I could bring up unit locations in my car. I can’t recall anyone being disciplined for a problem – we just never had one where officers triggered a GPS alert.

  • http://www.facebook.com/motcarla Carla Landenberger Grant

    Years ago I did a tour of their dispatch center – there was GPS in use at that time – cruiser icons all over a map would turn color if they stayed in one place for extended time.

  • tiny

    Lindsay Pedersen. is a jackass! moron, fool,

  • rick

    First order completed at 0:13.67, citizen pepper sprayed at 0:18.17, elapsed time 4.5 seconds! Seriously, check it out. Peacekeepers they are not.
    What happened to that verbal judo I always hear about? Apparently it involves screaming orders into someone’s face with disproportionate use of the word ‘fuck’.

  • rick

    “According to police, an officer grabbed Corriea’s wrist to prevent him from striking the staff person.
    Corriea allegedly pulled away and a second officer saw the confrontation and sprayed Corriea in the face with pepper spray.”

    Oh shit! The video contradicts the officer’s statement!

  • Difdi

    Police are trained to have one designated officer give orders to prevent confusion.

    But bad cops are well aware of this, and like to shout conflicting orders. That way no matter what their victim does, the ensuing violence is technically “justified” as far as the system of oversight is concerned. It tends to keep bystanders from jumping in to rescue the victim too.

  • steveo

    “In the moments before the video started, the arrested individual had
    attempted to assault a Tully’s bouncer and fled the grasp of an NPD
    officer, and he was then subdued, arrested and placed into custody.” This was written in a follow up to the video in a local news paper. As the reason the videographer was pepper sprayed and arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest which he pled Not Guilty and has a court date in May.

    But it definitely sounds to me like they said “walk away and are screaming at the videographer. who in the first part of the clip appears to be unconcerned with the action and just positioning his smartphone to record. If this story by the NPD is true, then the defendant’s clip will be important evidence. Hopefully, the PD didn’t destroy it. The first :23 seconds are the important part. Expanding the view and going in slow motion a kind of plain clothes leo gets in the videographers face and screams at him to leave, then it appears that the cameraman stands his ground peacefully, and the leo slaps his camera arm, then another leo jumps from behind with the pepper spray.

    You don’t say walk away, leos, you say, sir, you are under arrest. How does he know he’s under arrest, if you are telling him to walk away? There’s his defense to resisting. If the leos are saying that the camera guy was fighting with him before this, I want to hear from the bouncer.

  • Difdi

    Yup, which will no doubt cause the prosecutor’s office to move to have it suppressed, since it’s an obvious fabrication. After all, everyone knows officers are highly trained expert observers who never make mistakes or tell lies…

  • steve618

    Ha! “I’m an attorney”. Like the cops care. They’ll just as quickly mace and hogtie some nitwit attorney who thinks she’s special as anyone else. She’s lucky they were somewhat restrained that evening.

  • Ray

    And shock collars

  • disqus_zvi8T6gJyt

    It’s humanly impossible for police officers to act in perfect conformity to arrest procedures in every distinct circumstance. Non-verbal acts as well as a mouthful load of disrespect to responding law enforcers would lead them further astray from the usual norms in dealing with public disturbances.

  • n4zhg

    Shock collars are amateur hour. I want the explosive collars they used on the prisoners at the start of “The Running Man” movie.

  • Difdi

    Heh, that reminds me of my ex-Army Ranger ex-brother in law…my sister bought shock collars for their dogs to keep them in the yard. And the Sarge decided that he wasn’t going to subject “the troops” to anything he hadn’t tried out first. And he stated this loudly to her (which was the only reason she could reconstruct events for the paramedics later). So he turned one up to maximum, held it to his neck and walked out of the yard.

    My sister says she found him some time later, wandering dazed in the street with an electrical burn on his neck and no clear recollection of how he got there…

  • wickedcyn

    She wasn’t yelling “I’m an attorney” to imply she was more special. She was yelling it out so they “the police” understood she knew her rights and the laws. I honestly think that may be the reason of their restraint towards her. But I see the point you are trying to make, during OWS in New York a judge was tackled and arrested goes to show how the police are running amuck like the city streets were a war zone.

  • luv2shop21

    Are you kidding me, cops were just doing their job. The drunk idiot Attorney sounds worse than anyone. She’ll go far, DUDE. Where did the race card come into this???? That is getting old.

  • http://www.facebook.com/motcarla Carla Landenberger Grant

    If she were in many cities with “sidewalk loitering” ordinances – they’d have HAPPILY snapped her drunk butt up and arrested her ! If only !! !
    LOVED the officers response !!!
    How’s that free law school education you screwed the school out of Rach?

  • steveo

    Who has more of a right to remain silent, 1) a mime 2) a deaf/dumb person 3) a lawyer 4) a judge 5) anybody. I think 5’s the right answer.

  • Difdi

    Why yes, yes you are.

  • JdL

    Are you kidding me, cops were just doing their job.

    According to people like you, anything a cop does, no matter how criminal it would be for any mundane (not a cop or some other exalted thug), is “doing his job”, right? If not, please give a counter-example, something which if a cop did it, you would agree should be prosecuted as a criminal act. Whatever it is, I guarantee a cop has done it and gotten away with it. That is why people are welling up with rage against the endless criminal abuses of police.

  • Difdi

    I was a law enforcement explorer years ago, and there was one story about GPS and a radio check that was department LEGEND.

    A dispatcher had noticed that one car had been stationary for some time for no apparent reason, so she paged the officer over the radio, and asked him for a status update. No answer. She pages again, no answer. Getting alarmed, she tries a third time on the emergency band (officers sometimes muted their radios, but the radios would ignore the mute for broadcasts on certain frequencies) and this time she got through to him. Just as he keys his mike to respond, the toilet in the stall next to his flushes REALLY LOUDLY, resounding across the communications network…this happened to him as a patrol officer, and the poor guy was a sergeant at the time I heard the story, and still hadn’t lived it down.

    That was about the time the department adopted an unofficial code for bathroom breaks oddly enough…

  • Difdi

    And they could have arrested her for treason too, but that would also be a false arrest.

    Making an arrest in order to prevent exercise of a constitutional right violates both the oath police swear to become a police officer and federal law. It’s a shame the FBI doesn’t go for charges as often as the offense occurs, since it’s worth anywhere from 1 year in prison to execution depending on the circumstances involved in the unlawful arrest (18USC241, 18USC242).

    The fact that you’re in favor of breaking oaths and committing violent crimes says all we need to know about you.

  • SteveDK

    In Massachusetts you have the right to be on the sidewalk without getting arrested for loitering, even if a police officer tells you to move on. Commonwealth v. George P. Carpenter, 1950.

  • JdL

    Excellent, Difdi!

  • typical

    When will you people learn this is the USA. This shit isn’t anything new. The only difference is that we have better technology and can distribute the information better and the pigs have better toys to abuse us with.

  • Anndifidoo

    Shocked, i say shocked, to find drunken brawling going on in this establishment.
    Pepper spray? Dude you can tase me for $100k settlement!

  • JdL

    It’s humanly impossible for citizens to act in perfect conformity to expected behavior from criminal cops in every distinct circumstance. Non-verbal acts as well as a mouthful load of disrespect from criminal law enforcers would lead them further astray from the usual norms in dealing with criminal cops.

  • Difdi

    If a citizen fails to act in perfect conformity to ever law no matter how minor, the police pounce and issue citations or make arrests causing the citizen to lose large amounts of money and even their freedom.

    If a police officer fails to conform to regulations, citizens should cut them a little slack. After all, we wouldn’t want them to get a paid vacation at taxpayer expense for their mistake, that’s just way too hard on them.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    There are plenty of officers that are suspended every day for violating department regulations, without ever coming to public notice. And by suspended, I mean without pay, definitely not a vacation. Suspended with pay, normally called admin leave, is used during the IA investigation to determine what happened, and if it is serious enough for admin leave, normally disciplinary action will follow. At my old department, admin leave was normally a precursor to a major suspension without pay or termination.

  • Difdi

    One of the problems with the system is that it happens out of public view. An officer is investigated when accused, you say? It might be very rigorous, it might be a whitewash. But nobody in the general public will ever know.

    A member of the general public gets accused? The investigation is very public, the police might even hold a press conference. It’s possibly on the evening news. Even if they have the wrong guy, that guy’s name gets dragged through the mud in full view of the community.

    The double standard on accountability and transparency can’t do anything but breed distrust. Investigations that find no wrong doing no matter what the officer did don’t help the matter either.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    I don’t disagree. Some more progressive departments that are accredited under CALEA post disciplinary data, normally without the officer’s name. For example, the Arlington, TX PD, will provide annual data by emailing their IA section from their website.

  • audax1

    Man Identified as Jonas Correria,

    William Newman, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Western Massachusetts, said Correia will be represented in court by Northampton attorney Luke Ryan and that the ACLU will be involved in his defense.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/man_arrested_by_northampton_po.html

  • audax1

    Jonas Correria court case is currently scheduled for Thursday, May 16th 2013

  • Jason

    To clarify, I believe the woman screaming at the cops wasn’t a ‘companion’ of the lawyers, but the victim’s girlfriend.

  • Mohammed Loves Allah 4ever

    To be fair, the guy was standing right next to whatever police action was taking place. I’m not saying he had to leave the area, but maybe he should’ve moved 8-10 feet away instead of 2 feet away

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