Being arrested is often stressful for the average Massachusetts citizen, especially when they are engaged in everyday activities like hanging out at a local bar. Recently, one 26-year-old man found this out firsthand after facing an arrest by Northampton police officials. His arrest became relatively infamous when someone who videotaped the incident also posted it on the Internet.
Police initially arrested the man for several counts of alleged disorderly conduct. Prosecutors apparently supported the decision to arrest the man, but chose to decrease one of the counts to a misdemeanor and did away with another charge entirely. A Massachusetts District Attorney maintains that the police did nothing wrong in arresting the man and that excessive force did not play a role in the event.
A representative for a Massachusetts branch of the ACLU supported the prosecutor’s decision to lower the charges. According to him, criminal accusations should never have been raised in the first place. He seems to believe that the misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct is much more appropriate. Now, the charge is much more similar to that of a speeding ticket rather than something more severe.
With that being said, it’s not yet clear whether the man at the heart of this arrest will agree. As in any other case, he has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. He also has the right to decide to negotiate some sort of plea arrangement with authorities, or to vigorously defend himself against any and all charges.
Source: The Republic, “Prosecutor backs police on Northampton bar arrest but reduces criminal charge to misdemeanor,” May 11, 2013