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Viral Video Purports to Show Northampton Police Misconduct

pepper spray

NORTHAMPTON, Mass (WGGB) — It’s the video that’s gone viral here in Western Mass. A Northampton police officer pepper spraying a man over the weekend.

It shows a small crowd gathered outside Tully O’Reilly’s pub in Northampton – both police and patrons – around 1:30 Sunday morning. The video was taken by a woman across the street and then posted to Facebook and YouTube.

18 seconds in it happens…police pepper spray Jonas Correia and wrestle him to the ground.

On the video you can hear Correia screaming, “I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything.”

The woman recording the incident seems to agree. “He didn’t do anything,” she repeats.

But according to court documents and the police narrative, he did.

Police say Correia was threatening a Tully’s bouncer. As they tried to intervene, the situation escalated.

The officer writes Correia “appeared to be taking a fighting stance and I believed he was going to strike.”

WEB EXTRA: CLICK HERE to read the Northampton Police narrative of what happened.

That’s when a second officer stepped in and used pepper spray.

It’s jarring to see, but is it police misconduct as the video purports?

“It’s all governed by the 4th amendment which is what is the reasonable amount of force under the circumstances,” explained David Kuzmeski, a professor of criminal justice at American International College and chief of campus police.

Looking over the video, Kuzmeski says it’s pretty ambiguous as to exactly what happened since it doesn’t show what led up to the altercation.

Plus, it’s taken from a distance and certain subtle clues may not be visible.

“It’s a fine line. It’s a very difficult line to make those judgments. But an officer does not have to wait for a person to strike them, hit them, for them to resort to some means of force to control the individual,” said Kuzmeski.

As of now, that fine line is one the courts will have to decide.

Correia is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

You can watch the video in its entirety below: (Some language may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised)

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • alpinequeen

    They should have pepper sprayed and arrested all the vocal idiots trying to tell the cops how to do their job.

  • krex1009

    He got what he deserved…its not like the cops punched him in the face or something. they maced him, took him down relatively lightly, and put him in cuffs. And the ignorant lady screaming how “racist” the cops are needs to get a life. “I’m the only black lady here and you come up to me” she says…well guess what, they talked to the white ladies forst ya loon

  • krex1009

    And there’s no way these ladies are “attorneys”…they need to shut the hell up…

  • whittle650

    That bald piece of shit cop makes up charges to get his arrests into court. If you’ve ever had a run in with Al Borowski, odds are you know he’s a filthy excuse for a cop. You know exactly how he is on the job by his demeanor in this video. He’s a juice head. Any of you see “resisting arrest ” on the tape? It’s a little hard to resist when your face down in mace. And if you’ve ever been to tullys you know the kind of shit hole it is. You’d also probably know that the bouncers regularly put their hand on, and abuse people in, and outside of that bar. They refuse to close il the shit hole because it gets the cops action. Any other bar in Hamp with the kind of fine and forced closure record that tullys has would be closed and the door nailed shut.

  • whittle650

    Thanks for the censorship wggb

  • medic3

    The police were called because the individual was caught selling cocaine in the bathroom. When he was asked to step outside, he got aggressive with the bouncer. It’s a matter of public record via court document.
    The “lawyer” is a lawyer, just not a respected one in the NoHo area. And yes, she was legally intoxicated and not being appropriate.