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Northampton Officials Respond to YouTube Video

pepper spray
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Northampton’s police chief and mayor have responded to a YouTube video circulating the internet that alleges possible police misconduct.

Around 1:30 Sunday morning, in a police narrative obtained by ABC40, officers say they responded to Tully O’Reilly’s on Pleasant Street for a disturbance outside the bar.

During the response, police used pepper spray on Jonas Correia and wrestled him to the ground.

The incident was all caught on a cell phone camera and posted to YouTube.

Correia can be heard in the video saying that he didn’t do anything. Witnesses, including the woman who took the video, appeared to agree that Correia didn’t do anything.

However, in the narrative, officers allege that Correia was threatening a bouncer and one officer noted that Correia “appeared to be taking a fighting stance and I believed he was going to strike.”

Late Tuesday, Northampton Mayor David Narkowicz acknowledged on his Facebook page that he has “received numerous inquiries” about the video which shows “Northampton Police Department (NPD) officers taking an individual into custody in the early hours of Sunday, March 31, 2013 after responding to a disturbance call at Tully O’Reilly’s on Pleasant Street.”

Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz adds in his own statement, shared by the Mayor via Facebook:

“The NPD was summoned to Tully O’Reilly’s in response to a series of altercations that took place that night. In the moments before the video started, the arrested individual had attempted to assault a Tully’s bouncer and fled the grasp of an NPD officer, and he was then subdued, arrested and placed into custody. The taking of pictures played no role in the arrest. NPD officers are well-versed in the laws concerning videotaping, as clearly demonstrated by their non-interference with the filming of the YouTube video. Appropriate charges have been filed against this individual and will follow the usual procedure through the courts. The NPD is continuing to investigate this matter to assure compliance with all department rules and regulations.”

When contacted Wednesday by ABC40, Sienkiewicz noted that he nor the Mayor would have any additional comment.

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


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