Society

Black Man's Jaywalking Arrest: Racial Profiling? (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Charles Harrell Baron OstermanCharles Harrell Baron Osterman

Charles Harrell was arrested for jaywalking on Feb. 6 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 29-year-old African-American man says it was a case of racial profiling.  Harrell filmed the incident and posted it on Facebook, where the video went viral on March 1 (video below).

In the video, Harrell is walking down a sidewalk while filming Officer Baron Osterman over his shoulder, notes WCPO.

Harrell complains about being followed by Osterman when he steps into a crosswalk where the traffic signal appears to read "Don't Walk." 

Osterman stops Harrell and tells him that he entered the crosswalk before the traffic sign changed to "Walk."

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Harrell reaches for his ID, but Osterman instructs Harrell to place his possessions on the sidewalk and keep his hands where he can see them.

The scene grows more tense after Osterman tells Harrell to place his hands behind his back, but Harrell refuses to and insists that Osterman is violating his constitutional rights.

Osterman pushes Harrell up against a wall to handcuff him; Harrell curses at him and continues to insist that his rights are being violated.

Harrell was reportedly cited for a pedestrian violation, and charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana (misdemeanor).

In response to the incident, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac stated in a press release: "We take all citizen concerns and complaints seriously. As such, the incident is under investigation by both the Internal Investigations Unit of the Cincinnati Police Department and the Citizen Complaint Authority, which provides a neutral, independent review of the incident."

"Everything I saw, I didn't see anything that the officer did that was wrong," Cincinnati Police Sgt. Dan Hils, who heads a local police union, told WCPO.

Harrell was also charged with contempt of court on March 4 for allegedly taking pictures inside the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Bernadette Longano, a lawyer who has represented the city in the past, claimed that she saw Harrell snapping pictures of two cops in the courthouse, and that the pictures were posted on Harrell's Facebook page, notes The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The courthouse does not allow the use of cell phones and cameras "in any courtroom or hearing room, jury room, judge's chambers or ancillary area (to be determined in the sole discretion of the Court) without the express permission of the Court."

While in court, Harrell pleaded guilty to the marijuana possession charge, but innocent to the other charges.

Harrell reportedly posted a picture from inside the courthouse on his Facebook page with the caption: "Look at these Pigs y'all I'm at court after I beat this s--- I will post the video of how they did me #‎lawsuit"

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Sources: WCPO, The Cincinnati Enquirer/ Photo credit: Charles Harrell via YouTube

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