Police Abuse

Man Arrested in Syracuse While Filming Cops Arresting Someone Else

Officers tells man, doing nothing obvious requiring arrest in video other than filming, he will "fuck you up" if he doesn't instantly comply.


Video sent live initially to Facebook Live, shot by a man with a group called "OG Against Violence" which is deliberately designed to keep a citizen eye on possible police misconduct, shows the man being arrested by a Syracuse, NY, officer for no obvious crime other than filming the officer conducting a roadside arrest across the street.

The video:

After being ordered to not speak by the officer and threatened with arrest if he did speak, for no obvious reason, the videographer says he didn't hear the officer.

The officer then strides across the street toward him and grabs him and arrests him, with the camera falling to the ground.

The audio on the clip features the officer saying that "don't fucking move you understand me…or I'm-a fuck you up." When the filmer begged for some mercy on the basis that he claimed he wore a defibrillator, the officer admitted: "I don't give a fuck. I told you to stop fucking coming around here," indicating that perhaps cop-filming activism had something to do with why the officer was annoyed enough with him to arrest him for no apparent reason.

The official charges were "misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and obstructing government administration," as Syracuse.com reports.

That report from Syracuse.com gives the official reason for the arrest in addition to the charges. It's quite compelling:

City Court Judge Mary Anne Doherty read from the charges filed against [Maurice] Crowley. According to the criminal complaint, Crowley stood across the street during a police drug investigation. Crowley used his hands to make a "circle motion" and made "tornado comments" while officers conducted a search, Doherty said.

Crowley's actions presented a dangerous situation and interfered with the investigation, the complaint said.

Doherty said Crowley is charged with resisting arrest for refusing to put his hands behind his back or over his head when an officer attempted to handcuff him. When an officer grabbed his elbow he "tensed up" and was then tackled to the ground.

The audio seems clear, and while the filmer was grousing about police misconduct and "Uncle Toms" (the arresting officer was black) prior to being arrested, I could not make out any "tornado comments."

The "Photography is Not a Crime" website, where I first found the clip, insists their sources say the arrested videographer was named Crawley, not Crowley, as the Syracuse.com site reported. An earlier Syracuse.com report also calls him Crawley. He faces a court date on August 25 but was released from jail.