Boston Cop Shoves Videographer Back While Threatening to Arrest him for Battery on Police Officer


A hefty plainclothes sergeant from the Boston Police Department figured the best way to not be exposed on camera was to physically confront a videographer, shoving him with his belly and pushing him back while threatening to arrest him for felony assault on an officer.

This, of course, is another common practice used by police, ranking right up there with ordering a non-resistant suspect to “stop resisting” while physically pummeling him.

“You touch me again and I will lock you up for assault and battery on a police officer,” the burly sergeant told the burping videographer.

The sergeant and another plainclothes cop who identified himself as Fabiano told Jay Kelly that he needed to move out of the area because there was a police investigation.

Meanwhile, a shirtless jogger trots right through their investigation while numerous cars also drive through in opposite directions in two lanes.

Once across the street, the sergeant yelled at Kelly that the suspects did not want to be recorded, according to an interview he did with Massachusetts Cop Block, which happens to be another common tactic used by police to prevent citizens from recording.

The sergeant’s behavior is especially arrogant considering the landmark Glik decision not only confirmed citizens have the right to record cops in public, but led to the Boston Police Department dishing out $170,000 in a settlement.

That same year, the Boston Police Department also dished out $33,000 to Maury Paulino in a settlement after he was arrested for video recording them in public.

But perhaps the sergeant figured he could get away with it by simply telling the citizen to record all he wants as long as he doesn’t record in their presence, which incidentally, is another double-speak tactic we’ve been seeing lately.

I guess the appropriate response is to tell the cops, “I’m not recording,” while sticking the camera in their face.

Call the Boston Police Department at (617) 343-4633.


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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  • Shawn

    “…while physically plummeting him”?

  • ed baier

    Been there done that! Boston isn’t the only dept in the country that does this on an ongoing basis.
    San Diego county law enforcment has its share of intimidation of citizens and media.
    No east coast/west coast bias here.

  • $22798478

    Oh my, but what is that bulging out of his ribs and stomach area? Nasty! Looks like this asshole needs a couple week suspension and then brought back for a 40 hour constitutional rights class. Don’t worry folks, but this one is about one thick rich sauce away from a massive heart attack. He will be gone soon.

  • Ron

    “Burly” Is that code for really fat?

  • Burp Man


  • Gary

    This guy loses some holier-than-thou credibility with a beer in his hand and constantly burping. Sounds like he was looking to stir things up, not simply “documenting.”

  • steveo

    Undercover cops. They must really fool the criminals. I was fooled.

    The way to solve this on going war on citizens with cameras is for the dept to issue body cams to all the officers. If a leo turns it off, 1st time a five day suspension, 2nd time, 60 day suspension and 3rd time, termination.

    • Voice-Of-Concern

      Well, I think the cop should be able to turn off the camera when he or she is using the restroom. I suspect there are other times turning off the camera would be reasonable.. Like discussion of union matters with fellow union members..

      I do think it vital for the body camera to be on during all interactions with the public.

      • io-io

        All of a sudden, every discussion would automatically become a “union” matter

      • crazyassmofo

        And when planting some drugs on a suspect.
        Don’t want to get that on film either.

      • Joseph Murray

        Like hitting up prostitutes for freebies?

    • jimmarch

      In that state (MA) the ONLY people who can legally open carry a gun are cops. In the more rural areas concealed carry permits are sometime possible for mere peons but not in Boston.

      So by open carrying the cops are anything but “secretive”. By doing the combination of plainclothes and visibly armed they are doing a “we are better than you” number right in everybody’s faces.

    • Proud GrandPa

      Another way to solve the on-going war over photoging the police is for the local gov’t (not police depts.) to pass laws regulating how far one must stand from certain LEO events in order to not interfere. That would eliminate all doubt, especially if the cameras can be used to show distances unequivocably.

      • crazyassmofo

        Thing is that I hardly ever, if at all, see anyone recording the police and truly interfering in any tangible and meaningful way.

        I see cops ask people why are they filming and when people state it is their right to do so, then I see cops stating and threatening that could be construed as interfering. Interfering seems to be more of a tactic to stop someone from filming than actually identifying someone who is truly interfering or obstructing them from doing their job. A vast majority of video encounters I have watched indicate this.

        So the only “on-going war” is the one I see cops creating in most of these video encounters.

        And in this instance a quick remedy solution is needed for the true victim against an officer who actually assaults you and then falsely claims you are guilty of assault and battery on an officer. This officer demonstrated on camera that he was willing to frame this guy on false charges while the officer was actually physically assaulting the guy. Isn’t that a crime that should be punishable with a criminal prosecution and prison time for the officer, not to mention losing his job?

        • Proud GrandPa

          Yes, you are correct. The videos that make it to PINAC are those in which the LEOs object to being photographed. In this case the officer goes beyond merely asking why and actually shoves the photog and orders him away without (as far as I can tell) a valid reason.
          Per your suggestion one way to avoid the he-said she-said standoff about who shoved first etc. is to have multiple cameras and additional camera people… especially concealed.
          Even that will fail if the officer can persuade a DA that the photog was too close or otherwise interfering. How can the system prevent that from happening? The best way I can think of is to actually set out in a law the distances and circumstances for photo rights. Otherwise we have complex he-said she-said.
          Another great idea is to require LEOs to wear body cams themselves. I posted a link earlier to an IL college PD that does so. No problems and after a few weeks/months, the LEO themselves like it. This protects them from false charges and makes it easier to document crimes they see.

          • crazyassmofo

            Yes, I know I am correct.

            But it isn’t just the videos that make it to PINAC that I am speaking of exclusively. It is in many videos on other websites and youtube all recording such interactions over several years. The use of the video camera or video phone has been used to record abuses in a much larger scope than just officer’s violating people’s rights regarding being filmed. It also has to do with illegal stops, illegal detainments, illegal searches, violence and cop on citizen murder.

            The he-said she said standoff scenario you speak of about who shoved who first doesn’t even exist. I rarely see video footage where there is any question or debate about what happened.
            This video posted here clearly shows it is the officer that assaults the person with the camera. I see no guesswork in making that determination, So there is no confusion or a substantial argument otherwise to me made based upon what the video shows. So why complicate the matter when it is so simply obvious?

            It isn’t about the photog keeping a certain distance.
            It is about a cop lying and declaring their was interference or obstruction when there was none. Just like when they beat the crap out of you while yelling…stop resisting.
            I rarely, if ever, see an instance where there is confusion or a determination cannot be made by the videos I have seen. I think the problem you cite is barely one to begin with.
            And certainly this video clearly indicates what is happening.

            I think the requirement of LEOs to wear bodycams with timestamp footage is a great one. Not so much to protect them from false charges, because I have yet to see proof that is something other than a rarity, but to let them know the eye of surveillance is there and to keep them from being criminal thugs, which seems to be rampant. In the meanwhile citizens should continue to police the tax-payer funded criminal mafia groups out there to the maximum no matter the level of harassment from cops they receive in return for doing nothing illegal.
            The more cameras, of course, the better and even better those cameras that are not property and evidence of the state…obviously.

      • WithinThisMind

        yes, because the immediate response of cops to such a law won’t be to walk up to the camera person then promptly arrest the camera person for being ‘too close to the event’. Try thinking things through, okay?

        • Proud GrandPa

          WTM, per your suggestion the umpires have reviewed the play. I agree with your assessment that a law defining distances and conditions for photog interference would produce a desirable immediate response of cops. Good.


          What is the desired immediate response of cops? Per your words, “…the immediate response of cops to such a law won’t be to walk up to the camera person then promptly arrest the camera person for being ‘too close to the event’.

          I see this as a positive good. Photogs who don’t interfere get to take pictures. Photog who interfere get their pictures taken at taxpayer expense plus a free, all expense paid vacation for a few days in one of our finest public facilities. And perhaps best of all, with the law in place, both the police and the photogs will know what is allowed by photogs taking pictures of our police. What could be finer?

          .Let us beat a dead horse now…
          “…the immediate response of cops to such a law won’t be to walk up to the camera person then promptly arrest the camera person for being ‘too close to the event’. Instead the response will be to let the photog continue to photo the LEOs. I’m in agreement. So what did you think required thinking again? Sounds fine the first time I thought of it. Just wondering…

          • Withinthismind

            Let’s look at this scenario. We have a photographer standing the required 100′ away. We also have an asshole cop on a power trip who wants to violate the civil rights of whoever he is arresting, but doesn’t want to have a video record of such an event.
            What is an asshole cop to do in such a situation?

            Well, thanks to Grandpa’s shortsightedness, the asshole cop has the perfect solution!

            All he does is take one big step forward. Now, the photographer is only 97′ away. That means the photographer is now in violation, and the asshole cop can arrest the photographer at his leisure, confiscate the camera, and go about his civil rights violating without further interference.

            I can totally see why you find this an ideal solution.

          • Joseph Murray


            Gramps is a Concern Troll/insane in case you haven’t picked up on it.

          • withinthismind

            It’s pretty obvious. I just didn’t want any casual readers to mistakenly think he could have had a sensible suggestion.

          • crazyassmofo

            ….quite obvious.

          • Proud GrandPa

            troll alert => crazya…mofo
            Don’t feed the troll.

          • crazyassmofo

            Please grandpa…maintain a distance of 100 feet…you are interfering.

          • WithinThisMind

            right. We should all stop feeding you. Good point.

          • Proud GrandPa

            When the law is carefully crafted the cop will be unable to do that. You err and create a strawman situation. Let us see. I offer a legal solution which will work. You offer nothing of value. Guess what? I prefer my solution better!

          • WithinThisMind

            And here I thought that there was this ‘commandment’ thing Christians had about lying. Guess not.

          • Proud GrandPa

            HeHe Let me expand that troll alert in your case.
            IGNORAN Troll Alert ==> Withinthismind
            When, no IF, you have an intelligent reply I may deign to comment. Good luck playing with the literate, son. Better try harder. Your logic meter failed you again.

          • WithinThisMind

            Ah, Gramps and his assumptions. Or maybe it’s his lack of reading comprehension? Or perhaps he is just that unfamiliar with the truth that lying comes automatically.

            I ain’t nobody’s son, PompousGrandAss

    • $22798478
  • RT

    While he is stirring things up…It is a RockStar Energy Drink not a beer.

    • TheFlashingScotsman

      And those WILL make you burp.

  • apariah

    The cops seem to be off, but the person behind the camera isn’t making it any better by antagonizing them.

    • Kellen Lawler

      So rights are based on if a cop is put off. PAAlease.

    • TheFlashingScotsman

      It would seem that the antagonizing didn’t begin until the officer got in his face.

      • tiny

        exactly, great point. the “undercover” came over to him. but some say perhaps the COP was in the right. i say BULLSHIT! that cop was dead wrong, and with that spare tire he got, his heart or/and BP will do him in just after his ass retires. what a lurdass, i think… LMFAO

      • Joseph Murray

        A cop could knock you down in the street, steal your wallet, go to your house, kill your dog, flush you goldfish down the toilet, plant drugs under your pillow, tase your kid, and arrest you for failing to lick his boots and some people will wonder what you did to provoke him.

    • Shawn

      Guys, I was commenting on the grammar, because I think that Carlos meant “pummeling”.

    • Difdi

      The only time expecting someone to obey the law is antagonizing them, is when you are dealing with a criminal.

  • rick

    More plainclothes BS argument. “You didn’t see the badge, you didn’t see the gun?” Then he quickly covers his badge! Also, police perimeters do not apply to runners.
    The Cop Logic ® is strong in this one.

    • Difdi

      If the perimeter only applies to people exercising constitutional rights, the police would be hard pressed to claim their actions didn’t trip over 18USC242 or 42USC1983.

  • John Doe

    I would have thought that a website such as this would have known the laws about recording police in massachusetts…let me quote them for you : “Twelve states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington—require the consent of all parties for you to record a conversation.”

    So technically if he did not give you can get arrested for that. Good luck fighting it also.

    • Kellen Lawler

      Wrong. Stop looking at “wiretapping” laws.

    • Phred

      Doesn’t apply to recording in public where there is no expectation of privacy.

    • Kellen Lawler

      Recording Police Officers and Public Officials

      As discussed in other areas of this Guide, a patchwork of state laws
      applies to recording the communications of others, including
      wiretapping and eavesdropping laws. These laws may impose liability for
      recording audio of a conversation without the consent of one or more
      parties, or for making secret audio recordings.

      However, First Amendment considerations arise when you are openly
      recording the activities of police officers (or other public officials)
      carrying out their duties in public places. A number of U.S. Courts of
      Appeals have held that, in such circumstances, the First Amendment
      protects the right to record audio and video regardless of whether the
      police/officials consent. This constitutional right would override any
      state or federal laws that would otherwise prohibit such recording.

      Currently, the following U.S. Courts of Appeals have recognized the
      First Amendment right to record the police and/or other public

      First Circuit (with jurisdiction over Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island): see Glik v. Cunniffe,
      655 F.3d 78, 85 (1st Cir. 2011) (“[A] citizen’s right to film
      government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the
      discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and
      well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”); Iacobucci v. Boulter,
      193 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 1999) (police lacked authority to prohibit
      citizen from recording commissioners in town hall “because [the
      citizen’s] activities were peaceful, not performed in derogation of any
      law, and done in the exercise of his First Amendment rights[.]”).

      Seventh Circuit (with jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin): see ACLU v. Alvarez,
      679 F.3d 583, 595 (7th Cir. 2012) (“The act of making an audio or
      audiovisual recording is necessarily included within the First
      Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the
      right to disseminate the resulting recording.”).

      Ninth Circuit (with jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona,
      California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, the Northern Mariana
      Islands, Oregon, and Washington): see Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 55 F.3d 436, 438 (9th Cir. 1995) (assuming a First Amendment right to record the police).

      Eleventh Circuit (with jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida and Georgia): see Smith v. City of Cumming,
      212 F.3d 1332, 1333 (11th Cir. 2000) (“The First Amendment protects the
      right to gather information about what public officials do on public
      property, and specifically, a right to record matters of public

      The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey likewise recognized the existence of such a right in Ramos v. Flowers, Docket No. A-4910-10T3 (N.J. App. Div. Sept. 21, 2012), relying heavily on the First Circuit’s reasoning in the Glik case.

      If you are recording in New Jersey or in one of the states or
      territories within the First, Seventh, Ninth or Eleventh Circuits, the
      First Amendment right to record should protect you against prosecution
      for recording the police or other public officials as they carry out
      their duties in public places.

      Even if you are not within these jurisdictions, these decisions may be
      persuasive to other courts. Although two other U.S. Courts of Appeals
      have declined to hold that a First Amendment right to record was
      “clearly established” as of particular dates in the past, see Kelly v. Borough of Carlisle, 622 F.3d 248, 261-62 (3rd Cir. 2010); Szymecki v. Houck,
      353 Fed. App’x 852, 852 (4th Cir. 2009) (per curiam), none so far have
      rejected the existence of such a right. Furthermore, the United States
      Department of Justice has openly stated its position
      that the First Amendment protects all U.S. citizens who record the
      activities of the police in public, and has intervened in at least one
      civil rights lawsuit against police officers to support that First
      Amendment right. See Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Dep’t, No. 1:11-cv-02888-BEL (D. Md. Statement of Interest filed January 10, 2012).

      NOTE: The First Amendment right to record does NOT give you the right
      to interfere in the performance of officials’ duties, or violate
      generally applicable laws. You may still face criminal prosecution
      or civil liability if, while recording, you: interfere with an arrest;
      trespass into secure government areas or private property; fail to
      respond to legitimate measures by law enforcement to control riots or
      disturbances; or otherwise interfere with official activity or violate
      private rights.

    • rick

      The USDOJ disagrees with John Doe. Please read two of their letters regarding this issue:

      John Doe’s comment underscore the need for continued public education regarding recording laws in the US. The best way for readers of this blog to do that is tell your friends and family, “Yes! It is legal to record the police. That’s what the 1st Amendment’s freedom of the press is all about!”

    • Carlos_Miller

      You sound like you just stepped out of 2008. A lot has happened since then.

    • Joseph Murray

      I doubt ‘John’ will have any further comment…

      • crazyassmofo

        Other than commenting on the acrid taste he experiences when sucking on his mommy’s discarded used tampon.

        • Stanley B. Manley

          Is that kind of trash really necessary?

          • crazyassmofo


          • Joseph Murray

            Why draw attention to it by responding? If you see a dog turd as you walk down the street do you stop and yell: My god! Look at this dog turd! That’s disgusting!’ Or do you just keep walking?

    • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

      That doesn’t apply to public servants or places where there is no expectation of privacy.

    • Difdi

      We do know the law, particularly the case law in this matter. Go Google the name Glik, the court decision modified the wiretapping law in Massachusetts so that it no longer says what you think it does.

  • Tijuana Joe

    I’m not sure I even have to watch past 1:01. That dumbfounded look
    the officers make when they realize the camerman is not a spineless sheep-person
    is priceless!

  • Todd Allen Oetken

    Put that FAT, LAZY cop behind bars. He is out-of-control.
    ALL cops are criminals. Videos prove it again and again every day.

  • 3GoldBars

    The burping and belching really didn’t add credibility to the videographer. With that said, other than that it was a great video.

    • Difdi

      News happens when it happens, not on a schedule. The only way to guarantee you won’t be belching during the news happening is to never cosume gassy foods — ever.

      • Rufus McGufus

        I always like it when some pertinant side topic gets well covered in these discussions.

    • harry balzanya

      The credibilty of the videographer has no relevence we dont pay the videographer.. The officer is a highly paid detective and is expected to act with integrity not a camera slapping street thug. He is expected and required to id himself when asked. He is required to uphold everyones constitutional rights even if the videographer was shitting his pants.

  • $910553

    There are appropriate ways to deal with such thugs. “Law Enforcement” is not going to like it when it starts, however.

    • $22798478


  • $910553

    Don’t you recognize that as part of “Law Enforcement” 10-code?

  • discarted

    I called today and talked to internal affairs. I suggest everybody else do the same. Let them know that this kind of behavior is criminal and unacceptable.

    • io-io

      Why talk with internal affairs? Why not call the District Attorney? Why not call the State Attorney General? Why not the FBI – in terms of the police suppression of civil rights? Yes, I know its a “small” matter, but we need to start to turn this around some where.

      • discarted

        Great suggestions. But I am curious to know if you bothered to take the initiative to do any of what you suggest?

        Should I call on your behalf?

  • Guest

    Guys, I was commenting on the grammar. I think that Carlos meant “pummeling”, not “plummeting”.

    • Shawn

      Great. Disqus didn’t delete the above comment, but instead made it appear to be from an anonymous guest. 😛

  • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

    What a bunch of Badged Uniformed FASCIST Thugs, the badge is the uniform, denying the rights of an individual to observe a public event. The assaulted and harassed him for taking a video that the should know is perfectly legal. I only hope that the day is coming closer and closer when citizens start demanding change from those elected officials that are responsible for the hiring of those that act as agents for the citizens.

  • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

    You are correct no Bias just Badged Uniformed FASCIST Thugs!!

  • Tuatha Kaish

    It’s like our Free Speech Zones being located blocks, even miles away from our political Representatives, who don’t want to hear from their constituents… no ‘comfort zone’ for politicians when Americans exercise their 1st Amendment Right.

  • Ian Battles

    How the fuck can you be a cop and be THAT fat?

    • crazyassmofo

      You threaten the local sub and doughnut shops that if they don’t cough up a little bit of complimentary grub when you walk in, threaten that you will have the local health department show up for a violations inspection coupled with a SWAT team raid.
      As that is now becoming common procedure.

  • lolreallythatswhatyouthink

    People are shocked by this? Look I hate to even say this, but every time I see a cop has been shot I can’t help but think it’s a cop who crossed the line and was put down for it.

  • dow daytrader

    question, how many donuts does it take to fill that cop-belly? LOTS !

  • crazyassmofo

    10 cops for one stolen cellphone enter a house where no one is involved in the crime.

  • crazyassmofo
  • Char-Lez

    I would NOT tell the cops “I’m not recording” or any other lie. That’s a criminal act. Repeat after me:

    “Officer, on advice of council, I will not answer any questions nor do I consent to any searches or seizures.”

  • txjazzman

    I guess there’s not a “Weight Limit” to be a cop…..

  • guest

    The belly buck! A preferred tactic of the over-girthed.