A New York cop finished making an arrest Thursday before turning to a man recording the arrest from across the street – a man who had not said a word to the officer – and threatened to arrest that man if he said another word.
Maurice “Mo” Crawley did not understand what the cop had just said, so he asked him to repeat himself.
And that was enough to get him arrested.
It was a blatant violation of Crawley’s Constitutional rights as well as a clear case of retaliation from a cop who did not appreciate being recorded.
The Syracuse police officer, whose name is not known at this time, not only deserves to be fired, but arrested as well for physically assaulting Crawley before jailing him on charges of obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest, the usual contempt of cop charges used in New York.
But he will likely not get fired or charged because we already know cops can do as they please without worrying about repercussions, which is why they act as they are above the law and why citizens like Crawley feel the need to record their every interaction.
It’s a never-ending cycle that will only escalate as more citizens take to the streets with cameras, knowing that police are incapable of policing themselves.
Crawley is a member of “OGs Against Violence,” a group of former gangbangers that are trying to stop the bloodshed between rival gangs.
Or as some call it, that “black on black crime” that constantly gets brought up whenever the conversation turns to Black Lives Matter.
However, the video shows this particular Syracuse cop, who is also black, is not appreciative of Crawley’s mission to reduce the violence in his community.
But that’s probably because reducing crime and violence in the community would eat into the officer’s business, so he has to manufacture crime as he did in this case.
“Hey, say one word, your ass is going to jail, just so you know,” the cop informed Crawley from across the street.
“I didn’t hear you, say it again, officer,” Crawley responded, a genuine question considering there were two lanes of ongoing traffic in between them.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.”
But the cop slammed his door and stormed across the street, pouncing on Crawley.
“Don’t fucking move, understand me,” the cop says. “Don’t fucking move or I’m going to fuck you up.”
Crawley informs the cop that he has a defibrillator on his chest, but the cop was not concerned about that at all.
“I told you to stop fucking coming around here,” the cop
Like many cops we see these days, the unnamed Syracuse cop doesn’t seem like the brightest of the bunch, so shouldn’t be surprised if he tried to delete Crawley’s video, considering there is no way he can legally justify that arrest if it came down to an honest court.
But Crawley was using Facebook Live, which not only live streamed the video, ensuring it made the local news, even though he is still in jail as of this writing.
As a result of his arrest, Black Lives Matter activists plan to demonstrate against his arrest Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Onondaga “Justice” Center.
Below are videos of the arrest and of a previous news report on the OGs Against Violence. OG generally stands for Original Gangster but its founder, Clifford Ryans, said it stands for “older gentlemen,” according to an article in Syracuse.com in February.
UPDATE: Syracuse police are accusing Crawley of using his hand to make a “circle motion” and also making “tornado comments” while recording, which is why they arrested him, according to the latest update from Syracuse.com. They are also now referring to him as Crowley, but our records show that he is named Crawley.
We are not sure what exactly are tornado comments nor do we understand while making a circle motion with your hand should lead to arrest, but police say it presented “a dangerous situation and interfered with the investigation.”
Police also say he “tensed” up when the cop pounced on him, which they interpreted as resisting arrest.
If that is what they are basing their arrest on, it is obvious they have nothing. And unless tornado comments is something that are communicated telepathically, the video shows the only comments made by Crawley were to his viewers, completely out of earshot of the officer.
Crawley was released from jail this morning on his own recognizance and is due back in court on August 25.
UPDATE II: A Syracuse resident named Kimi M. Fletcher has identified the arresting officer as Vallon Smith, who only has two public photos on his Facbook page where he is wearing sunglasses in both, but the jawlines and mouth seem to match.
The Syracuse Police Department has yet to release his name, but Chief Frank Fowler told Black Lives Matter activists who were protesting Crawley’s arrest on Friday that he finds the incident “troubling and problematic,” according to WXXI News.
UPDATE III: Syracuse District Attorney William Fitzpatrick dropped the charges of obstructing and resisting but then charged Crawley with harassment on an officer, insisting it had nothing to do with him recording the cop in public.
Skin tones are different but that could easily be a result of lighting and camera settings. What do you think?
On July 22, 1999, Clifford Ryan lost his 17 year old son to gun violence. In total he’s lost 10 family members, the youngest being 2 years old, to gun violence. After the loss of his son he became an activist against violence. Due to frustration of not being able to help he stopped. Then earlier this year on July 4th there was 14 shootings in Syracuse that left 3 people dead. That day he cut up cardboard and made a sign saying “OG’s Against Violence” and since then has been walking all throughout Syracuse trying to bring peace to a city that is ranked 8th in violent crimes in NY state. He is out daily speaking to the youth and the community trying to bring a change to his home city and gaining the respect of everyone in the streets. Just like Habakukk Nickens of Operation Cease Fire, he understands that law enforcement cannot do the job alone and they need the help of the community. Clifford hopes to be that bridge that can help bring about a change. #photojournalism #syracuse #gunviolence #stoptheviolence #OGsagainstviolence #strictlystreet