A Massachusetts cop who was caught on video helping beat a man on the side of the road is now claiming his rights were violated when the videographer recorded him without permission.
Springfield police officer Michael Sedergren – who was suspended for 45 days for the beating incident – filed a complaint of felony wiretapping against the woman last month.
Tyrisha Greene could serve up to two years in prison if found guilty of recording the video from her home almost two years ago.
The Massachusetts wiretapping law makes it illegal to secretly record somebody’s audio without their consent.
It was designed to crack down on organized crime, but police have used it in recent years against people who record them in public.
Even in cases where the charges have no merit, felony wiretapping charges have been used to send a message of intimidation against citizens who record them.
Last month, Cop Block founders Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre were acquitted of wiretapping charges after they were arrested for videotaping cops in front of a police station.
And in 2007, felony wiretapping charges were dropped against Simon Glik after he videotaped cops making an arrest in a public park.
But in those cases, the videographers were openly videotaping the cops.
In the Sedergren case, Greene was recording from inside her home, so his attorneys will surely argue that she was secretly recording him the night he participated in the beating of a man during a traffic stop.
The incident took place in November 2009 after police pulled over a car in which Melvin Jones III was a passenger. Jones is black. The four officers are white.
Although the video is dark, Greene indicates that Jones attempted to run. Police reports indicate he tried to grab a cop’s gun.
Either way, a cop named Jeffrey Asher – who already had a long history of beating black citizens – began bashing him repeatedly with a flashlight as the other cops either looked on or held him down.
Jones was beaten so bad that he ended up lying motionless on the street with Greene exclaiming that “he’s dead.”
He was left partially blinded in one eye and with multiple facial fractures.
Sedergren and the other two officers received suspensions for their roles in the beating.
And now he is clearly trying to send a message of intimidation to anyone who dares record his actions.