Another Recording Cops Lawsuit in Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

From the A.P.:

Maury Paulino said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that one officer punched, kneed, and doused his face with pepper-spray while the other officers stood by and did nothing to stop it.

Paulino, 19 at the time of the November 2009 arrest, said in the lawsuit he sought treatment at a hospital for injuries including abrasions on his neck, bleeding from his mouth, nose, and lips, and a laceration on his scalp.

Paulino originally went to the city police station in Roxbury to bail out a friend, according to his lawyers, Howard Friedman and David Milton. The friend acted belligerently as he was being released and exchanged heated words with one officer.

Paulino started recording when officers allegedly started mistreating the friend outside the station. He was charged with violating the state wiretapping laws. He also was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault and battery on a police officer.

His lawyers said he did not interfere with police while recording, nor did he curse, threaten or act aggressively. The lawsuit said a federal appeals court has ruled that it is legal to record police who are performing their official duties in public.

The illegal wiretapping charge was dismissed by a clerk magistrate; Paulino was acquitted of all other charges at trial.

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16 Responses to “Another Recording Cops Lawsuit in Massachusetts”

  1. #1 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “He also was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault and battery on a police officer.”

    Cool, they gave him the Full Monty of meaningless you-didn’t-bow-down-and-kiss-our-asses charges. They should have thrown in
    Public Nuisance maybe, or loitering, just for kicks.

  2. #2 |  the innominate one | 

    “The illegal wiretapping charge was dismissed by a clerk magistrate; Paulino was acquitted of all other charges at trial.”

    You forgot the rest:

    “The cops high-fived each other for getting away with being assholes and went back to work with no repercussions. Later, they were awarded medals for douchebaggery above and beyond the call of duty.”

  3. #3 |  Mark | 

    The law office representing him is Friedman, Milton.

    Just putting that out there.

  4. #4 |  Michael P ack | 

    And of course ,lawmakers continue to write vague laws that encourages more arrests in the war s on drugs and dui.Seeing how many are arressted for this non crime we need to wonder.How many innocent people are really arrested each year.With dui I believe atleast 50% are doing no harm or pose any danger..As for drugs,buying and using should,as most here agree,be a personal choice.These charges are much harder to beat and can ruin you life even if your foung not guilty

  5. #5 |  Bergman | 

    Given the way police toss around the resisting arrest charge, I’m starting to think the working definition among cops for resisting is “failed to teleport into jail cell without police intervention.”

  6. #6 |  AlgerHiss | 

    #1, someone, other than myself, came up with a quite accurate name for charging people with things the LEO knows will be thrown out: Catch & Release.

    It’s done to simply show you who’s boss.

  7. #7 |  Roho | 

    Kinda’ tempted to write a browser plugin ‘translator’ now. Would replace certain text strings in a page with other strings.
    “Disorderly conduct” becomes “Contempt of cop”
    “Resisting arrest” becomes “Being arrested”
    “Assault on an officer” becomes “Being beaten by the police”

    Thus, we get:
    “He also was charged with being arrested, contempt of cop and being beaten by the police.”

  8. #8 |  Fascist Nation | 

    “He also was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault and battery on a police officer….Paulino was acquitted of all other charges at trial.”

    Interesting—jury or judge? Did the video play a part in his innocence? I mean it is rare for a judge to cross the cops by finding anyone innocent of the felonies they heap on you when you have done nothing wrong. Very rare.

  9. #9 |  marco73 | 

    Maury was bailing a friend out of jail, and the friend exhibits contempt of cop on the way out. So the Roxbury cops are now extending the courtesy beat downs to people who bail their buddys out of jail.

    Soon enough, the cops will have to install a drive through lane for beat downs.

    “Yeah, can I get some fries with that pepper spray and baton smacking, hold the kicking.”

  10. #10 |  Dante | 

    “Paulino was acquitted of all other charges at trial.”

    See, there is the problem. The police can arrest you for non-crimes, beat the living crap out of you, force you to defend yourself in court which costs lots of money, and then walk away while saying “Nevermind”.

    For crying out loud, is there anyone who doesn’t get it yet? They (police) will behave this way as long as there is absolutely no penalty to them for behaving this way. They are pond scum, disguised as public servants, with better pay, better health care, and better retirement plans than all of us who are forced to sponsor their depraved activities.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  11. #11 |  croaker | 

    @10 The laws are already in place, we just need prosecutors with the stones to go after the cops who pull this crap.

    18 USC 242 Kidnapping Under Color Of Authority

  12. #12 |  Whim | 

    The police cannot survive without the support of the public.

    They drive marked vehicles, and wear uniforms, which means if society no longer trusts or values the police, then they are merely moving targets in a real-time shooting gallery.

  13. #13 |  AnonymousCoward | 

    IANAL so could someone explain if negligence based lawsuit could be attempted when the law has been clarified by the courts? Why are the executors of the law not held accountable for not knowing the law?

  14. #14 |  John P. | 

    police officers have qualified immunity which is BROADLY interpreted by the courts, so basically the cops can do more or less whatever they want and if anyone is punished it’ll be the taxpayers who pony up any cash to pay off any lawsuit.

    Cops are rarely if ever individually sued.

  15. #15 |  Homeboy | 

    @ #7,

    LOL…Roho, that was brilliant!

  16. #16 |  AnonymousCoward | 

    Thanks John. To clarify, and again forgive my lack of expertise, but my understanding of qualified immunity is that it applies when constitutionality is unclear – but after the Sedergen ruling, and the Glik ruling (where the court went so far as to state that no reasonable cop would expect public recording to constitute illegal wiretapping) I would expect there to be a clear chink in the qualification.

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