Man Suing Boston, Police Officers Over Brutality

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - This dark cell phone video from outside Boston's B-2 police station in November 2009 shows an arrest that allegedly led to police brutality.

The man recording the video Maury Paulino said, "Why you gotta spray him for?  Why you gotta spray him for?"

To which a Boston police officer responded, "He's going too.  Get me another handcuff, get me another handcuff."

Paulino, then 19, was bailing his friend out of jail when that friend was re-arrested.
Paulino began recording with his cell phone, and one of the officers handcuffed him.

Paulino's attorney Howard Friedman said, "He was knocked to the ground and he was hit in the head, yes he was beaten."

"Police officers have a tough job, a really tough job and not many of us could put up with what they put up with on a daily basis, but that's their job," said Suffolk University Professor Karen Blum.

Blum says Paulino had every right to record the police without being arrested.

She said, "Everybody calls it contempt of cop kind of arrests, where the officer for whatever reason gets annoyed and reacts."

Friedman said, "The officers sought to charge him with the felony offense of unlawful wiretapping, but in this case the clerk of courts found that there was no probable cause for that."

Paulino was later acquitted of several charged including resisting arrest.

He's now filed his own federal lawsuit against the four officers involved and the Boston Police Department.

This situation bears some similarities to the case of alleged police brutality at Roxbury Community College last year.

Attorney Howard Friedman says in both cases police tried to tell the person recording the arrest to stop.

Friedman said, "It does seem to us that police officers feel that they have a right to tell someone to stop recording them and if the person doesn't do that, they could be arrested, that's not correct."

A Boston police spokesperson said the department is unable to comment OB pending litigation, but released a statement saying in part:

"Since 2010, the Boston Police Department has conducted training for all officers relative to the state law regarding Interception of Wire and Oral Communications.  There is no right of arrest for public and open recordings under this statute."

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