[VIDEO] Senior arrested after filming another student’s arrest

By on September 28, 2010

While there are no laws on the books in Connecticut that make filming a police officer illegal, Quinnipiac senior Kenneth Hartford found out on Saturday night that it isn’t quite so simple.

According to multiple witnesses, within minutes of Hartford beginning to film a Quinnipiac student being arrested outside of Toad’s Place in New Haven, an officer tackled and handcuffed him. Hartford was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Police Investigation. He went on to spend the night in jail at 24 Union Avenue.

Quinnipiac student arrested after filming another student’s arrest from The Quinnipiac Chronicle on Vimeo.

(Full transcript of video below)

In a short video that he took on his cell phone before his arrest (viewable above) officers can be heard swearing at Hartford. The officer who ultimately arrested Hartford said, “Put that in your fucking pocket and get the fuck out of here.”

When Hartford then tried to capture the officer’s name and badge number on video, the officer shoved him away. According to Quinnipiac senior Dominic Grenga, when Hartford attempted to return to the area to resume filming on his cell phone, he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

New Haven police spokesperson Officer Joe Avery said that Hartford “kept interfering with officers and was asked to back off.”

Hartford was screaming at the police officers, Avery said.

“All I wanted to do was record the arrest, so if there were any inconsistencies later, it could be used to help [the student] out,” Hartford said.

Quinnipiac University has declined comment on this specific incident, but told the Chronicle in a statement that safety “is of paramount importance.”

“To that end, we implemented a shuttle service to New Haven several years ago and its popularity has increased over the years,” Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs, said. “We are aware that the Mayor has expressed concern about all students who frequent certain parts of the downtown area. If there are steps we can take to further ensure the safety of our students as they travel in and out of New Haven, we would surely discuss that with the appropriate parties.”

The statement comes in the wake of words from New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. that shuttle systems like Quinnipiac’s have become a license for students to get “fall-down drunk,” the Yale Daily News reports.

Quinnipiac law student Mario Cerame is building his law review on police using intimidation to stop citizens from filming police encounters. According to Cerame, Hartford’s civil rights may have been violated.

“There may be an equal protection argument here,” Cerame said. “What’s even more interesting to me, is that on the video, the police take a suspect into custody because the suspect knows Kenneth—because the suspect knows the cameraman. That suggests invidiousness and animus by the police towards people who film police.”

If the police acted with animus (a legal term meaning arbitrary dislike of, or hate), Cerame believes that Hartford and the other student may have a case using the equal protection argument of the Fourteenth Amendment. The equal protection clause essentially establishes that the state may not treat people differently when they are in similar situations unless there is a rational reason, such as the safety of the officers.

“It’s hard to imagine how treating a suspect differently because he knows a cameraman could be rationally related to safety,” Cerame said. “But it’s easy to see how such an act would be inspired by animus towards people to film police. If the police acted with animus against the suspect, then that could suggest other actions police took that night against Kenneth were inspired by animus, and not legitimate concerns.”

Cerame said that since it is completely legal to film police officers, vague statutes are often used to charge those who try. Many videos like Hartford’s have been in the news lately, a fact which Hartford was aware of going into the incident.

“As soon as I took out the camera they were uncomfortable because they knew what they were doing was wrong,” Hartford said. Quinnipiac senior Kevin Hillier saw the whole incident, and thought that the officers’ response was unwarranted.

“They claimed [Hartford] taking the video of the arrest was interfering with their interrogation when they arrested him, but the only reason him filming was an issue was because they made a big deal out of it,” Hillier said. “If the police didn’t start dancing in front of the camera and yelling at him, there would be no interference.”

The video taken by Hartford appears to show that the officers only arrested the original student because Hartford began filming. One officer, who began dancing when the camera was turned on, looked into the camera and said, “Watch this.” He then asked the student who they were questioning whether he was with Hartford. When the student replied yes, the officer turned to another officer and said, “Cuff him up.”

A Quinnipiac senior who wished to keep his identity hidden from police and university officials said it was obvious that both arrests were made because of the presence of the camera.

“The officer then attempted to make it very clear that the original student in question was being cuffed and brought in as a direct result of Ken’s filming,” he said. “From my point of view and from everything I was a witness to, it seemed clear that Ken was being arrested for filming the police and had done nothing else that could have provoked his arrest.”

After Hartford was arrested, Grenga and others asked some of the officers for their name and badge number. They were told to leave immediately or the officers would “involve [the students] in the issue.”

Hartford and the student whose arrest he was filming spent the night in a holding cell. Hartford was woken at 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. to answer a series of questions. “They asked the same questions,” Hartford said. “I sat in the same room; it was just a different person at a different computer.”

According to Hartford, the holding cells were very barren. The bunk beds were made entirely of metal, with no mattress or sheets. “I spent all night in jail, and all I did was film them,” Hartford said. “You just feel so helpless.”


Officer 1- (to camera) Watch this!
Officer 1-Is this who you’re with?
QU student- Yes.
Officer 1- (to officer 2) Cuff him up. Cuff him up.
Officer 1- You can watch this.
Hartford- Excuse me.
Hartford- Excuse me, what is he being arrested for sir?
Officer 1- Back away. Or you’re gonnna go to jail.
Hartford- What is he being arrested for, sir?
Officer 2- None of your business. (inaudible)
Officer 1- He said he hit him. He said he hit him, he’s going to jail. That’s why.
Hartford- Oh, ok.
Hartford- I’m sorry, am I on public property right now? (inaudible)
Officer 1- Stop making it worse.
Officer 1- That’s what he said, he said… his face.
Hartford- I’m not saying anything.
Officer 1- Then that’s what’s gonna happen. Are you his lawyer?
Hartford- I’m not his lawyer, sir.
Officer 2- What do you want me to do?
Officer 1- You guys can leave now. Thank you.
Officer 1- He’s going down to (inaudible).
Officer 1- I just told you, he’s going down to (inaudible).
Officer 1- I don’t want to lie to you.
Officer 1- I don’t want to give you (inaudible), alright?
Bouncer- Turn the camera off!
Hartford- I don’t have a camera.
Bouncer- Bullshit, I’m watching you record, now step back. I said go away! I said go away!
Hartford- I’m not doing anything.
Officer 2- Put that in your fucking pocket and get the fuck out of here, because you’ve been (inaudible) all night long.
Officer 2- No you fucking listen! I don’t have to listen to shit! You understand? Take my name and my badge number and get the fuck out of here.
Officer 2- Now get the fuck out of here and take your phone.


About Matt Ciepielowski


  1. Law Abiding Citizen

    September 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    We should all fear the cops, they’re not really here to SERVE AND PROTECT, they’re here to be assholes because of their pathetic childhoods where they were picked on and harassed relentlessly. Now they hide behind the law (or strange variations of it) to conceal the fact that they are indeed deeply volatile individuals of a lesser intelligence.

    • Spoiled Rich Kid

      September 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      You should only fear the police if you do the wrong thing. I have personally been to Toads place several times in the past and have observed the majority of kids come in drunk, get into fights and act like idiots. It appears that that the kid that got arrested was either fighting or assaulted someone “he hit him.” Why don’t you do something more with your life instead of film the police doing their job. If you guided your friend better that night , he might not have made the wrong decision and been arrested. Do you have any idea the things the New Haven Police have to deal with? Grow up.

      • Ryan

        September 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        Yea, the New Haven Police have to deal with lawbreakers. Is filming someone breaking the law? No? Then the New Haven Police don’t have to deal with them. It doesn’t take a grown up to figure that one out, numbnuts.

      • TMLutas

        September 30, 2010 at 9:01 am

        If a patron to a bar comes in drunk, the bar should not be serving him. That’s the kind of stuff that gets a place’s liquor license stripped. Allegations that patrons were entering a bar drunk and being over-served are serious.

        The number of people unjustifiably beaten, shot, even killed by out of control police is a scandal. Since police have not been able to control police, outside controls are necessary. You seem to be functionally on the side of the bad cops. What’s wrong with you?

        • Steve Koch

          September 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

          In general, I’m on the side of the police. They have a very tough and vital job to do. They have to deal with people at their worst. Having said that, citizens have every right to film the police. Any cop that interferes with a citizen legally filming should lose his job. There should be zero tolerance for cops violating citizens’ rights. Cops work for us and they need to remember it.

  2. Come on

    September 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    come one….. the guy hit some one and got arrested… this is so one sided. hey law abiding citizen …. change the name because u seem to hate the police … because they were probably the guys who smacked you around when you were young… u think u know the law but its obvious in the video the cop was saying the kid hit some one… duh! and hartford u probably stayed all night because you was drunk!!! if you cant respect the police you are a bloody q- university liberal!!! GO YALE!!!! losers

  3. Na Dude

    September 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Kid never hit anyone man they were just saying that to try to get something on him, plus nobody care bout ur opinion so chill

  4. Avenger

    September 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    We pay for the police by means of taxes. We have every right to film the police. By holding a video camera on a cop is in no way a crime. The cops work for us they do not own us.

  5. Neither Spoiled nor Rich

    September 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Since you weren’t there for the incident I wouldn’t expect you to know this, but the cameraman was not with the kid getting arrested, they were just friends and when Ken saw the other kid getting arrested he took out his camera in order to help him, so when you say do something more with your life, he was doing more than you by just making negative comments about people who stand up to the police. Furthermore, the fact that the police are assuming more power than they rightfully have is a problem that is getting worse and worse across this country. By documenting their wrongful actions Ken could possibly be making a difference on the future. Like athletes who are held to a higher standard of behavior, cops should be held to a standard higher than all, and when they violate the law they should be punished more forcefully. Do you have any idea what the New Haven PD deals with? Why don’t you grow up and consider the hundreds of cities that are worse to deal with than New Haven, and think about how much worse the abuse is there.

    • Spoiled Rich Kid

      September 29, 2010 at 12:54 am

      Help the kid? The bouncer clearly said that he “hit me.” Wow …I can tell that Quinnipiac is giving out a real quality education nowadays. Stand up to the police? The police were doing an investiation for the bouncer who was claming he was assaulted, so in fact the police were “working for us.” You can read the police report if you want you know, it’s public knowledge. If that guy is your boyfriend and your trying to defend him, at least have the common sense to know that when camera’s are turned on, they only catch half of what really happened. Also, it’s Toad’s Place that pays the police for services when they work the club, definately not you or the city. “Why don’t I grow up” Wow, your more concerned with alleged “police abuse,” why don’t you concern yourself with the growing crime rate across the country rather than how police handel a drunken idiot.


      Read that story and tell me that there is worse to deal regardless if there are “worse cities” or not. Try doing some investigating, or at least speak intelligently before you debate an issue. Either way, Gateway Community College is accepting transfer applications and McDonalds is always hiring.

      • wdf

        September 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        no one ever “hit” anyone. you werent there. that was completely fabricated that someone was hit.

      • Leroy

        September 30, 2010 at 8:09 am


        I have no doubt the original person detained by police deserved it. However the police work for the public. Their salaries are paid with tax dollars. They have ZERO expectation of privacy while on the job, and it is completely legal to film them.

        The problem is, around the country LEOs have been harassing and arresting people who attempt to film them. Regardless of the reasons for filming the police officer, when an officer detains a citizen who has not broken any laws, its a HUGE infringement on the rights of that individual, and should not be tolerated. THAT is the story here, not the drunk college kid who hit a bouncer, which happens every night in college towns across the country.

        Charge the drunk kid for assault, fire the officers for unlawful arrest.

      • Boy are you Naive

        September 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

        You don’t think police officers lie on their police reports? Happens ALL THE TIME, and they’ve been caught at it, too. A couple of years ago a couple of East Haven police officers arrested a priest for…you guessed it, filming them while the harrassed a legal Hispanic immigrant in town. Their police report was an amazing work of fiction that was completely exposed by . . . you guessed it, THE VIDEO. The judge couldn’t throw the case out fast enough when the tape was compared to the report. And the taxpayers of East Haven were out how much money while that farce made its way through the justice system?

        EVERYONE get out your cameras and film the cops. It’s the only way they will be forced to act responsibly. If they are acting appropriately they have nothing to fear from a camera.

      • Boy are you Naive

        September 30, 2010 at 11:27 am

        SPK, you don’t think police officers lie on their police reports? Happens ALL THE TIME, and they’ve been caught at it, too. A couple of years ago a couple of East Haven police officers arrested a priest for…you guessed it, filming them while the harrassed a legal Hispanic immigrant in town. Their police report was an amazing work of fiction that was completely exposed by . . . you guessed it, THE VIDEO. The judge couldn’t throw the case out fast enough when the tape was compared to the report. And the taxpayers of East Haven were out how much money while that farce made its way through the justice system?

        EVERYONE get out your cameras and film the cops. It’s the only way they will be forced to act responsibly. If they are acting appropriately they have nothing to fear from a camera.

      • Smoke

        September 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm

        Learn to spell and write correctly before you sneer at the education others are receiving.

      • Bunder.

        September 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

        your a fool man i was at this incident and since you weren’t you should just keep quiet and leave the discussions to the adults. Everything that was written about in that article is true, stop taking the police for every word they say and understand that they are real people with real emotions that sometimes get them in trouble when they boil over. When that happens they have to pay the consequences.

  6. spoiled rich kid

    September 29, 2010 at 1:22 am

    wow….delete my comment cause you can’t make an intelligent rebuttle. GOOD JOB

  7. Anonymous

    September 29, 2010 at 4:45 am

    if you took out a video camera and held it relatively close to me while I was trying to do my job, i’d probably be a bit angry and irrational too.

    i’m not saying what the police did was right. however, I question whether Ken’s intentions were to really try to help this guy out or to inflame the officers for his personal agenda. trust me, I know the kid. he would do that.

  8. Anonymous Witness

    September 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Spoiled Rich Kid is 100% right, they only catch a small portion of what happened. That’s why when the student filming obeyed the cops demands for him to keep his distance, everyone there was shocked to see him tackled to the ground and forcefully detained when he clearly wasn’t a threat. It’s one thing for an officer to ask the student to keep his distance, its really bad that the officer would ask the student to stop filming and the abuse of power comes when they tackled him to the ground when he clearly wasn’t a threat. What the first student did doesn’t matter, its a separate incident, but obviously the cop didn’t feel that way when he decided to cuff him for knowing the student filming.

  9. AV

    September 29, 2010 at 8:04 am


    Great job.

  10. BP

    September 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Bouncers are just as bad as the cops. There aren’t many proven facts in this story so to assume anyone hit anyone is wrong. Odds are the kid was involved in something, but what, we don’t know and shouldn’t assume. I do know that bouncers are friends with most cops as they work together in situations. Bouncers also get very rough with people when they don’t need to be, and the second someone gets rough back, they cry to the police, who are their friends. I have a very similar story to this one here. I went to Sacred Heart University and went to a bar where they would not let my friend in (he was black). they said he wasn’t wearing a collared shirt or something. So we all left and he changed and we came back. They still woudln’t let him. He cursed at them (nothing physical) and we started to walk back to the car when two cops came and threw him up on a car and cuffed him and went to town on him. Not knowing any better, I try to explain to the cops what happened. They tell me to shut the F up and get out of here! Stupid me, swears I can reason with them and that just aggrevates them even more. Finally I gave up and said this is F ing BS and backed away. They put my friend in the cop car and then came running after me. With no resistance I turned around so they can cuff me. They then tackle me to the ground, cuff me as tight as can be, then throw me on the car while one buy chokes my neck while the other squeezes my genitalia area as hard as he can. Then they lift the back of my shirt up and rub the handcuffs up and down on my lower back. Then the put me in the car with them with my friend and drive like 60mph on a 25mph side street, swerving back and forth so me and my friend bump into the windows and each other. We then were left in a holding cell till 6am. This all happended at 10pm by the way on our way into the bar. We were bailed out and all charges were ultimately dropped for both me and my friend and since nothing was documented on video and my physical damage wasn’t that of Rodney King, it was our word plus a few witnesses vs the cops. Cops always get benefit of the doubt. Our charge by the way was citing a riot and fighting in public. Not all cops are bad, but not all are good either.

  11. Study harder kids

    September 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Let me ask you nitwits a question…how many times does the Dean have to call you over to get your attention? How many times does your professor have to tell you tostop speaking during a lecture?? I guessing ONCE..why does it have to be different for the police…first off im quite sure Mr. Polanski wasnt videotaping his buddy misbehaving in the club…secondly You can clearly here him addressing the police ..whats wrong with shutting your Piehole while your taping??? the police clearly ask him multiple times to step away and leave after the arrestee was handcuffed…How about you offer the same respect to the polie as you would a total stranger or your teachers and peers and maybe you wont have to spend the night on a cooolllddd haaarrrdd metalll beddd boo hoo…. :(

    • Leroy

      September 30, 2010 at 8:17 am


      Respect My Authori-tie!

      If you aren’t doing anything illegal, the police have NO business giving you orders or arresting you. PERIOD. No matter how much it irritates them that you’re doing what you’re doing, if its not against the law, tough!

      An on duty officer has zero expectation of privacy, as he is acting in his role as an employee of the people. It is 100 percent legal to film him, and there’s not a thing they can do about it… OH! except intimidate and make unlawful arrests.

  12. Spoiled Rich Kid is funny

    September 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

    So because a police report says something it automatically makes it true? Didn’t know cops couldn’t lie.

  13. hhhmmmm

    September 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    well this concerns me…. if the cop told the kid to leave then the bouncer would get mad because the officer didnt do his job…. when someone makes a complaint isnt the police suppose to investigate? i hear this hartford kid does this stuff all the time. then there was another kid trying to barter with the police to erase the film to release the arrestee! now that is a crime! and another if the cop did let him go! hey BP thats a hard story to believe..cops are to be at a higher standard but they are human too and putting a camera in their face even when the officer asks the guy to back away because the attention is being drawn not only on the police but the arrestee…. gee when can go on for days….. i didnt see any physical abuse against the first arrestee just a kid with a camera being nosey.

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      Well, Hartford wasn’t in their face. He was farther away than many others on the scene, actually. It seems that the only thing that made him different was the camera phone in his hand.

      As far as your other accusations about Hartford–some factual enhancement would be nice.

  14. Law Abiding Citizen

    September 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    It’s pretty funny how you defend the cops. For the sake of clarity, I don’t care at all about the drunken assholes that go to Toads, I’m only concerned with the rights of this cameraman (who only knew of the kid he was filming, he wasn’t there with him). The facts of the video speak for themselves, the cameraman was polite and within his legal boundaries and did not deserve to be TACKLED and taken to jail for this. For all those of you who are defending the cops, look at the way one officer dances and beckons the cameraman to watch in the beginning. This is not law and order, its a sideshow.

    Leave QU kids alone, the kids who go to Toad’s on the weekends are not indicative of the rest of us, check your stereotypes at the door. The focus here is the police and their ridiculous conduct, which in no way mirrored what the situation called for.

    It’s DISGUSTING because they know they’re out of bounds, and they FLAUNT it.

  15. Citizen X

    September 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is approximately the 3rd or 4th time I have read about this kind of issue.
    If the police are within a public area, they have no reason to expect any measure of privacy. The same principle applies to us.
    What alarms me is the frequency of issues like this.

  16. ASM

    September 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    In the video it appears the videographer was not being disorderly. He was polite and respectful to the officers while being firm in his position that he wasn’t in violation of any law while filming the incident.

    It appears the officers in question acted inappropriately and the videographer was detained under false pretense.

    Not wanting to be video’d does not seem to be reasonable justification for arresting an innocent bystander.

  17. Truth

    September 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    What about the fact that the officers clearly curse, numerous times at the student?

    Aren’t the officers patrolling the area so the city can benefit from having thousands of college students in the area, all of whom are eager to spend money?

    The officers, all of them, behave entirely inappropriately, cursing at civilians, dancing for the camera. That is certainly not what we pay them for.

  18. Witness

    September 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I was there for the entire episode waiting in line with the kid in the white shirt. He had a bloody finger and it was his birthday. He gave the bouncer his I.D. and was told he couldn’t come in because his finger was bleeding. He then began to argue with the bouncer for a few minutes before grabbing his I.D. out of the bouncers hands.

    The rest is all on tape….

  19. worked with cops in & out of US

    September 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I worked with cops as a member of private security force & as medical staff in a large jail in the US and as medical staff in Japan and in Australia and in England both in civilian capacity and while on military duty. I do not know how many times I heard the cops brag about how they would/did F… people up sometimes for something as small as not liking their looks. over all the US cops have the least respect for manners and seem to have a “power position ego” and descend to lower moral & behavioral levels than others I have dealt with. The British, Australian, and New Zealand acted in a very dignified manner and never lowered themselves to the cussing and antics I have observed with the US cops. Due to not being fluent with Japanese I can’t comment on what was said by them How ever one thing I did observe was that they seemed to have protocols to follow and did with the Japanese being the roughest / harshes by US standards but

  20. worked with cops in & out of US

    September 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I worked with cops as a member of private security force & as medical staff in a large jail in the US and as medical staff in Japan and in Australia and in England both in civilian capacity and while on military duty. I do not know how many times I heard the cops brag about how they would/did F… people up sometimes for something as small as not liking their looks. over all the US cops have the least respect for manners and seem to have a “power position ego” and descend to lower moral & behavioral levels than others I have dealt with. The British, Australian, and New Zealand acted in a very dignified manner and never lowered themselves to the cussing and antics I have observed with the US cops. Due to not being fluent with Japanese I can’t comment on what was said by them How ever one thing I did observe was that they seemed to have protocols to follow and did with the Japanese being the roughest / harshes by US standards but completely within the expected range for their culture. There are good cops but I feel they are a minority and I have lost so much respect for the US law enforcement that I stopped teaching my children to respect all police blindly like I had been taught. The few “GOOD” cops I have encountered did not mind being filmed as they would not do anything wrong to worry about. It is/are the cops who do not want to be filmed that try to suppress any filming because they are in fact doing wrong. So although assuming is wrong I would believe that the cops in this case or any that suppressed or in anyway acknowledged they were being filmed {other than to ask that a copy be sent to their station as proof they behaved properly if they suspect the arrestee may make false charges about their treatment during the arrest} were guilty of some sort of misconduct.

  21. Hmmm

    September 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The same thing happened to father manship from St. Rose Church in new haven trying to film what he thought was harrassment by east haven police of a hispanic store owner and their customers. He won!!!

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      Sortof. they dropped charges. He didn’t win. Just they gave up. Winning would be civil vindication in court, I’d say.

  22. XYZ

    September 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

    You don’t have to put the kids in question as angels to note the following things:

    -It’s legal to record police officers performing normal public duties

    -Police Officers are supposed to be able to keep their cool and handle stress well beyond normal citizens.

    Some wise-ass students in a bar, one with a cell camera, is apparently a ‘high-stress’ incident for cops? Please, for seasoned, trained cops, having someone record a routine arrest should be no big deal. There’s no call for losing your temper, and certainly no call for arresting the recorder.

    On paper, police work is difficult and deserving of the public’s respect. In practice, unfortunately police work attracts the worst kind of applicants (for the job), lot’s of guys with power and anger issues.

  23. Bill Johnson

    September 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Get used to being filmed, copper. What was that I heard?

    “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of”

    Oh, sounds about right. I guess those cops were doing something wrong…

    Sue the city for every penny it has until those who hire the cops start getting the message – no goons, thanx; no megalomaniacial high school grads who get off on dicking with those making more money than them.

    Remember, when seconds count, cops are out harassing vidiographers – or shooting Costco shoppers.

  24. Horatius

    September 30, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Pending further info, my going-in position would be that this PD needs to be disestablished as it is a clear threat to concepts of liberty.

    For those aghast-this kind of thing is a growing cancer and we are simply not going to the world where the two choices are “cops and little people.” For I am not a cop and have no intention to tolerate it. This kind of ‘tude is becoming more widespread.

    I say five years from now if a cop’s complete patrol from beginning to end is not recorded at a body to body level, it is because intent to do something invidious was there.

  25. captschmoe

    September 30, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Whether you like cops or not is not the issue here. The reality is that this is the most photographed (video-graphed) time period in history. Everybody has at least one camera on them, that being a cel-phone camera.

    With the advent of inexpensive digital cam-corders and compact digital cameras law enforcement needs to understand that they are likely to be photographed each and every call that they respond to.

    As an amateur photographer, I usually have at least two cameras on me, sometimes three. I shoot anything that I feel is interesting, including police activity. The po-po just need to get over it and accept it as a fact of life

    Understand that people still need to comply with law enforcement’s direction to avoid conflict, but they still have a right to video their actions from a point where it does not interfere with the police activity.

  26. concern

    September 30, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Again they wonder why they do not get respect from the community listen to that mouth and doing his little dance for the camera NHPD going down the drain no respect.

  27. Gracie

    September 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    A video student just won a case in maryland where he video the cop making and arrest.

  28. Dont Let The Cops Get Away With This

    September 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Go to Middletown Press and read the articles. There are some out there willing to fight this garbage.

  29. realist

    September 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    i’m all for fairness here, and the kid can tape whatever he wants in public. BUUTTTTT. there is a law against people congregating on the sidewalk like that. he has NO RIGHT to do so. AND he was told to leave numerous times to leave AS he was breaking that law. he had every opportunity to do what he was doing… just from a different spot.

    ill quote..

    Sec. 53a-182. Disorderly conduct: Class C misdemeanor.
    (a) A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when…
    or (5) obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or (6) congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a reasonable official request or order to disperse;

    so if you can find me one instance on how this kid was not congregating with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a reasonable official request or order to disperse… or obstructing pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk by standing there.. please let me know. if your going to take a stand.. at least look at both sides. he was allowed to tape. what cop told him he wasn’t? i don’t see it in the transcript….

    source- http://law.justia.com/connecticut/codes/2005/title53a/sec53a-182.html

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      Yeah, see, that’s the abuse of vague statutes I’m talking about. The request was not reasonable. The student was observing an event–documenting it so as to publish the event to the world. I would argue both press and speech, and that the officers’ activity constitutes prior restraint. Furthermore, why did they single out the *cameraman* instead of the other people congregating? See, that’s the equal protection piece I pointed out. Similarly situated people must be treated the same–otherwise you have selective prosecution. But abuse of these vague laws is, as your post highlights, at the root of the problem.

  30. Police are on power trip

    September 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    This same officer (Badge #442) arrested me this past April. For what? For being a concerned friend. My friend, while even in my eyes should have been arrested, was being choked by another officer while not on the ground and in handcuffs. He was not resisting at this point and yet remained in a choke hold by an officer over twice his size. Seeing this, I called 911 to request further assistance from a supervising officer. While on the phone with the 911 operator, and with my back to the other officers i was suddenly knocked to the ground and told i was under arrest for interfering in a police investigation. When will this officer finally be held accountable for the , I’m sure numerous, laws he has broken. Just from what i have experienced and witnessed, this includes assault, battery, harassment, false imprisonment and false arrest. Officer 442 is not above the law, and i am sure he is just one of many on the New Haven Police force who take their powers above and beyond what is necessary. I am by no means against police officers and i completely understand that to be an efficient officer, especially in a city such as New Haven, one must be especially tough. But, there is a time for that, and officers needs to understand when increased force is appropriate, and in these instances they were not.

  31. onewhoknows

    September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    NHPD believes they have the right to do these things every day, and do do it everyday: Yale PD too:


    Commit false arrests.

    Harass law abiding citizens.

    Threaten anyone filming them.

    Committing fraud upon the court by lying in sworn reports, sworn interrogatories.

    Lie about having audio and video evidence of their own, including audio dispatch center recordings. Lie to the court about it, as a matter of policy despite it being illegal and doing so unless and until a lawyer makes them produce the evidence.

    What judges and state’s attorney does: Judges look the other way on fraud upon the court and so does state’s attorney.

    The courts and prosecutors have something called fake integrity. This is policy, every single day, this is not the exception, this is how it works every single day in the New Haven area.

  32. onewhoknows

    September 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    The same thing happened to me and to this day we are trying to get the security videotape of the arrest, which the police do not want disclosed. Obviously, it does not help their case, if it did it would have been produced right away.

    It just happened this month with Yale PD arrest where the poor arrestee victim was lucky enough to get audio and video record that police DENIED existed, it is fraud for them to deny it to the court, then finally produced it when forced.

    The audio totally contradicts the Yale PD report. The arresting officer is caught and now will cost Yale money. Way to go Yale and its thug officer.

    NHPD ALWAYS falsely denies existence of audio or video evidence. It is POLICY. A POLICY of deliberate fraud.

  33. Me

    September 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Once you get arrested for something that wasn’t “right”, you realize that when dealing with the police, you shut up and do what they say or they will turn on you. They are so high and mighty that any iota of disrespect gives them a reason to haul you in and put whatever they want on the report. It’s their word against yours. THAT’s why they hate the cameras. It stops them from really beating you up or violating your rights or talking to you like you are some POS. I personally just take off asap when police are involved in ANYTHING. They think they are gods. They DO lie in reports. I was locked up for the night once for NO REASON and the “charges” were all dropped. Because they pepper sprayed a peaceful crowd and the crowd was pissed, so they arrested everyone they could get their hands on. Meanwhile, there are other real crimes going on and our tax dollars are spent stroking a cop’s ego.

  34. bobbymike

    September 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    There is a book about German police officers prior to and during WWII. The were tasked with policing invaded countries and ended up being some of the worst human rights offenders in the Wehrmacht.

    They were just ordinary police officers before the war but became monsters when they “became the law” in conquered countries.

    While not referring to all cops sometimes when you see officers like on this video I ask myself “If they could with impunity beat me and take me to jail for no reason than to exercise their authority would they?” Watch the video look at the cops I think the answer is a resounding yes.

  35. A.Tolnay

    September 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Too many Idiots to reply to all of you…but I’ll address a couple of you…To Horatius…”a clear threat to the concepts of liberty?” you are inmeasurably an idiot…Take it from a cop who has been filmed numerous times..We dont care if your the next Roman Polanski or Steven Spielberg TAPE AWAY…just dont get involved when your not involved.
    what is evident from the video..(if you can manage to pay attention without using your biased vision)…is that the poor “oppressed future academy award for best video receipient” wasnt just standing there flaunting his freedom to video those big bad corrupt overbearing potty-mouthed good for nothing overpaid demons…but kept interjecting with the officers…I think maybe even you soft (bonered) Liberals and smart- panted college professors and students could agree that maybe juuuuust maybe it was something that Roman Polanski could have waited till after the incident was over and the police were able to conclude their duty that he could have asked for information he wanted. I as a police officer have had numerous friends and family of an arrestee come to me after the fact of an arrest and ask me what the charges were and have been supplied the information requested.

    And to all the people who keep making comments about how high and mighty and how bad we think we are….please please never call us…its apparant that we are useless to you so please even in your most dire need of a cop…reach down the front of your pants see if there’s anything there and take care of it on your own…and for the others that are so afraid that your rights and freedoms are being taken away by the police…why dont you try going through life without us having to interact with you huh? trust me as much as you think of us…we (at least me) think of you the same…only difference is that you cowards who would just as soon hide under your mommy’s bed or closet and cower…we would be the one’s to sacrifice our lives for you wether we disliked you or not…and trust me it’s not that your life is that precious to the planet but its because us big bad menaces to society have taken an oath to do so for you ill mouthed ungrateful pampered softees…goodnight.

    Oh and to” one who knows:” please lets just say you dont know half as much as one fourth of 2/10ths of what you really know…blah blah blah blah…yechhhh

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      . . . because society works so much better when no one gets involved.

  36. JSinAZ

    September 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    A. Tolnay: “I as a police officer [have just proven myself a colossal dick].”

    Way to improve the image of those in your profession, tough guy.

  37. Brian V

    September 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Go looking for trouble and you get trouble. This kid deserved being arrested. Mind your own business and let the police do their job. If you want to, film from a distance, shut your mouth and let the video stand on it’s own merits. That isn’t what he did he interfered with the police and spent a night in jail.
    Thanks to all the NHPD tasked with cleaning up the BS that goes on down town. (no thanks to you King John)The vast majority of TAX PAYING CITIZENS are psyched you are doing what you are doing.
    Ignore the stupid comments from privileged young punks, (who don’t even live in New Haven) who are upset they can’t have drunken keg parties in the middle of New Haven streets. This New Haven home and business owner supports you and knows most others do too. Keep doing what you are doing.

  38. UMMMMM

    October 1, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Ummmmmm, whats the problem here? The cops asked the guy about 10 times to just leave and he kept refusing. The cameraman keeps saying hes on public property? Well, if you are crowding around the police when then are working or clearing sidewalks after a bar closes YOU SHOULD LEAVE instead of acting like an ASS and proding and filming the police with a camera in their face. I cant beleive anyone would support these drunk asses who make it hard for regular people to go out and havre a good time. There are too many arrogant drunk obnoxious people at bars who constantly challenge other patrons to fights and break the cops balls and thats why it is so out of control in New Haven and everywhere else.

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      1) They treated him differently than people around him.
      2) They treated someone else differently because they knew him.
      3) Their actions arguably constituted prior restraint on both his speech and ability to report news.

  39. Freddo

    October 1, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Hey JSinAZ,
    You are a pompus ass! I know that the cops would rather stand in front of the bars and have a quiet night. I have seen too many drunk a#$holes out there and the cops have to do their job.

    Shame on the public. Cops should be able to pound these jerks and make examples of them. Think about it: If people just acting decdent and didnt bother or strat fights with anyone, the cops could just stand there OR BETTER YET not be there at all . . . . . but thats in a perfect world, and this is not a perfect world. SO LOCK UP THOPSE DRUNK JERKS NHPD!

    And from me to the NHPD, thanks you and keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!


    • JSinAZ

      October 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      Freddo, point to the pomposity, please. The commenter was a dick, and his annoucing “I as an officer” in the midst of his dickery needed an highlight.

      Of course, as someone who fanatasizes about letting the cops to “make examples”, I can understand your sensitivity to illumination of dickishness. Perhaps less self-illumination on your part would be in order.

  40. Academic

    October 1, 2010 at 7:56 am

    You guys know that your school provided transportation to New Haven is commonly referred to as “the Slut Bus”, don’t you?

    Well, you do now.

    • Caleb Gindl

      October 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

      You mean “school-provided,” right, Academic?

  41. R. Lun

    October 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

    UMMMM…..you are obviously not a student of QU. Too intelligent and rational. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you can’t stay back and keep your drunken mouth shut, you are committing a disorderly conduct. These “kids” are going to have to figure out how to deal with the reality of the binge-drinking, mommy and daddy tuition paying, brats someday. Until then, they have all the answers, right? And yes, it was alleged that he hit someone. The cops are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. The assaulter will face his day in court but, until then, who are the cops to take sides and make the decision not to lock someone up when a clear allegation was made? Do us all a favor. Don’t waste 50K a year of your parent’s money by attending college. Drinking from Thursday-Sunday is not cool and you only embarass yourselves and your families by sensationalizing your weekend antics. I’m sure these kids are all over Facebook, sporting their “big red cups” and believing they are cool. Yes, folks, welcome to the “me generation”. God help them when they have to deal with the real world!

    • Dave H

      October 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Wow you are clearly ignorant. You are stereotyping QU students to be drunk ass holes when clearly many have achieved a higher level of education and success than yourself. Stop criticizing others for actually doing something with their lives and face reality. Videotaping a police officer is not disorderly conduct or illegal and rightfully so. Too often police officers abuse their power and use intimidation and brutality to satisfy their own agenda. And the alleged “assaulter” did nothing more than grab his ID back from a bouncer that would not let him in because of a bloody finger. I suggest you get your facts straight before criticizing an entire university over your opinion of what happened.

    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm

      Even if the officers had probable cause–(and I can’t see how they did)–why take the suspect into custody *because* he knew the cameraman?

  42. Weird

    October 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    weird how the assulter didnt get charged with assult, wonder if he really hit someone?

  43. jill

    October 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Carlos Miller has been fighting this war for a long time:


    This law forum has discussions on this issue:


    • Mario

      October 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      Hey, where on Volokh do they discuss this issue instead of the MA or MD type issue?

      Thank you sincerely for the link to Miller. -M. Cerame

  44. Anon

    October 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Those of you so confident these kids committed disorderly conduct are police shills.

    You have the video right in front of you, and you don’t know an illegal arrest when you see one.

    This arrest was illegal. Duh. If you don’t know that, you don’t know anything about civics and shouldn’t graduate.

    But I suspect some of these posts are from NH Cops, which would be about right considering their level of education and intelligence.

    And the comment about the S… Bus was sexist. What a bunch of gender bigots you have over there at QU.

  45. To Tolnay

    October 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Officer Tolnay, way to go. As usual, you contradict logic, and make the PD look worse in your copious comments on so many blogs.

    Officer Tolnay believes cops are always right except when they are messing with him, which they did, big time. Isn’t that right Tolnay?

    Tolnay won a $5.1 million verdict against former NHPD Chief Wearing, because, being the meta NH Cop that Wearing was, he pulled a bunch of corrupt stuff on Tolnay, just like the cops do to photographers from QU, and everybody else.

    The city wouldn’t pay the verdict, how else is New Haven to survive fiscally if it kept paying verdicts? I mean, its cops are out there breaking the law every single day?

    So, most recently, the city agreed to pay a million of it. Not sure if he got more since then.

    But that is Tolnay, a cop, he can complain, regular people can’t. That’s one of the rules of his chaotic, irrational philosophy about stuff. A real genius.

  46. Anon

    October 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    “Me” is totally right in his/her post.

    That is exactly what it is like and happened to me too.
    That’s standard operating procedure. It isn’t “one bad apple.” That is just the spin people say to cover it up.
    It is chronic, epidemic police culture just about everywhere.

    There are cops posting on this story. Theirs are the most offensive posts you are reading.

    A Tolnay, ever occur to you that you are smearing these two guys, who didn’t do a thing wrong but break that unwritten, illegal law to kiss police tushes? Haven’t they been through enough? Why don’t you bug off. Go spend some of your lawsuit money, or did you fly through that already?

    You should have spent it on some much needed higher education for yourself.

  47. Anon

    October 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  48. Anon1

    October 2, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    This was on “See Click Fix” of all places:

    See click fix post number and header:
    #59631 NHPD Operation Nightlife Raid at Elevate Lounge

    Street Address:
    215 Crown Street New Haven CT

    Reporter: Street Smart Mike Jones
    Posted: about 3 hours ago
    Votes: 3 People want this fixed
    Viewed: 174 times

    On Friday, September 1st, there was a raid of Elevate Lounge as part of the NHPD’s Operation Nightlife during an event sponsored by Yale undergraduates. There are a number of troubling reports of confrontations between NHPD officers and students that resulted in arrests and hospitalizations. While everyone involved appears to be safe, collecting the stories in a transparent way should allow all interested parties a chance to be heard.

    One of the comments, posted by “simon”:

    We were forced to sit in the club for what seemed like hours without even being allowed to ask what was going on and what we were waiting for. They asked most but not all students for ID. One international student was arrested for failing to produce American identification. He spent the night in jail.

    Finally they had us walk out the club in a single file line and show our IDs a second time on the way. Students who had left their IDs in the coat check were taken aside and told to wait in the same area as those who were suspected of underage drinking. The whole process was very unsystematic and all the more distressing because no one would tell us what was going on.

    At the exit I saw a few of my friends in tears because they had just seen police officers taze a student and punch him in the face while he was on the ground.

    fficers taze a student and punch him in the face while he was on the ground. One girl was feeling ill from the sight of blood. I understand his only offense was to have shown too much attitude. Meanwhile, half the room had been signing the ‘they won’t let me go’ passage from Bohemian Rhapsody… The threat I heard the police use many times–“to make an example” out of various students–makes it pretty clear their decisions were arbitrary.

    A friend of mine saw the student who had been tazed forced to lie on a stretcher for about ten minutes with his hands still tied behind his back and his body weighing on the cuffs cutting through his skin. Two people who hadn’t been at the party were arrested when they came to see what was happening. Both were told to leave and began walking away. But one was then handcuffed when he started making a phone call and so was the other when he asked why that was happening. (The whole night the police seemed very worried about cell phones and witnesses documenting the events.)

    I spoke to an Elevate employee today and he said the police had gotten word of some kind of rumble at the club. If that’s the case, that explains why they had a dozen policemen and semi-automatics, and why they treated the patrons as guilty from the start. They could have run the operation as a regular liquor raid but kept on the whole night as if they knew some violent crime had been committed.

    As far as the club’s alcohol policies go, I was carded on my way in. While I was dancing I tripped into the bar area and an employee immediately asked to see a bracelet.

    New Haven is a rough place and I imagine that could effect the police officers’ attitude. But if that means this kind of thing happens every week and we only hear about it when Yale students are involved, then discipline definitely needs to be enforced.

  49. Anon

    October 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Here’s more. Yale Daily News has four entries on the raid on Elevate lounge, including pictures and video.

    In the video, you can hear an officer in this amazing growling yell asking if anyone else wants his treatment. From the article, you learn what he is talking about is the Yale kid they just tazed five times then kicked and beat while he was on the ground. Can you imagine how terrified these kids were hearing this guy yelling as if he was going to taze more of them for nothing?

    Police said, as they always do, that the kid assaulted an officer, but all the witnesses said he didn’t.

    Remarkably, there was only one arrest for underage drinking. The other four arrests were for crimes the police fabricated once they got there, the usual fake crimes against police egos.

    Here is the link:

    In the photos of the raid, there is a ranking officer in a white shirt. Not sure who he was, he looks like a captain at least, or asst. Chief. He was on the scene, and NHPD says all the police behavior on the scene was appropriate?

    He should be understood to mean that that growling cop and the cops who tazed and beat the guy were appropriate. They do believe this is entirely appropriate. This is the hard thing to understand, that they do believe all these types of inappropriate behavior really are appropriate.

  50. R. Lun

    October 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Dave H. BINGO! Research over the past ten years and see how being drunk got QU students either killed, killed someone, raped, assaulted and the list goes on. Actually, it is a phenomenon with most spoiled kids going to college today. And smart-ass, I will go up against you education-wise, common-sense wise, street-wise or any other way (I am working on my second master’s degree, while working full-time). Oh, and my working and student loans, not mommy or daddy’s help, paid MY way through ALL my degrees. You don’t want to go there with me, kid. I take it you were there? Sober? If not, keep your trap shut as the videotape does not capture the entire event. When you become part of the solution instead of the problem, then I will try and see the rationale behind your statements. And I never said that the videotaping was the DC. Other actions fit the statute are surely involved so check that, know-it-all. I have done something with my life regardless of what my profession is. Let’s see what you and your “me-generation” friends will be doing in the next 5 years! I’m sure the work force can’t wait for you…..

  51. shadaldire

    October 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    After working in probation for a few years all I can say is that I have zero respect for ANY police officer. They do whatever they want and then just slap disorderly conduct charges on the person they’re harrassing. We’d be better off without any cops.

  52. Retired093

    October 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Now I have zero respect for ANY probation officer. You sound like a mope who is ON probation rather than a probation officer. Or maybe you just clean the probation office. What a stupid statement! The small percentage of officers who don’t make the best decsions is not the way to gauge the majority who do a fantastic job. Really, if you people think you can do the job better, go to the next recruitment drive.

  53. Michael

    October 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    There is a common theme that many of the cops that comment take. They act indignant to the negative criticism that police recieve and suggest that you not call for their “services.” this really goes to the heart of the matter.

    These so called servants believe that if you dont like their behavior or attitude then you are undeserving of their service. A complete reverse of the relationship between a customer and a service provider. But they’re not offering a service now are they? You are forced to pay for these thugs because their service is a government granted monopoly. Filming is a short term solution to protecting your friends and family from the thugs with badges.

    But the only way to improve the profession is to introduce competition in the field of protection services. That way the scumbags are kept at bay. Who would voluntarily pay for the services of criminals with badges?

  54. tg

    January 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

    the police say they are professionals but all of a sudden they can’t do their jobs because someone is filming them.

    did the person that was doing the filming touch any of the police. otherwise they did not interfere.

    if you are bothered by a citizens right of freedom then perhaps you are not qualified to be a cop.

  55. http://goo.gl/YhWXl

    February 22, 2011 at 4:51 am

    The only norm to be followed is ‘Don’t get personal’ as that deviates from the subject matter under discussion. Such digressions should be shunned equally well with an iron hand. The moment somebody says ‘So you think you know better? ‘ drop the discussion and leave.