A police officer from Springfield, Massachusetts has filed an application for a criminal complaint against a woman who recorded his fellow officer beating a black suspect while he stood by, according to The Republican.
In November 2009, Tyrisha Greene made a 20-minute recording of now-retired Springfield patrolman Jeffrey M. Asher repeatedly beating Melvin Jones III with a flashlight during a traffic stop. The recording shows a group of other officers standing around Jones without intervening.
Jones was partially blinded in one eye from the attack, and had bones all over his face broken. The officers claimed that Jones grabbed one of their guns as they tried to arrest him and that Asher struck Jones with his flashlight in order to “disorientate him.”
But a grand jury rejected that claim, finding no evidence that Jones behaved aggressively towards them.
Michael Sedergren was one of the four officers disciplined for the incident. He was suspended for 45 days. Sedergren claims Greene violated the state’s wiretapping laws by recording him without his consent.
“If officer Sedergren feels his rights were violated under the law then he has the opportunity to make his case in court, just like everyone else,” Sedergren’s lawyer said.
“When you start charging people who have videotaped police wrongfulness, it borders on, in my opinion, an attempt to silence people,” Democratic Rep. Benjamin Swan told The Republican.
“I think it would be dangerous if this person were to be charged with a crime,” added the Rev. Talbert W. Swan, president of the NAACP’s Springfield branch. “It would say to the public that we don’t have the right to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions.”
Jones has been charged with shoplifting, domestic battery and drug trafficking on separate occasions since 2009.
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