A video of a man being arrested while walking down the street has gone viral.
On Feb. 6, 29-year-old Charles Harrell recorded a video of himself walking down a street in Cincinnati after buying a cappuccino, as reported by The Free Thought Project. During the video, police officer Baron Osterman was following him on a bicycle.
“This is what we have to go through in Cincinnati,” Harrell said during the video. “You can’t be a black man and enjoy your morning, because the police are going to harass you, Cincinnati, Ohio. Walking down the street, the cop just asked me if I have a problem.”
A little while later, Osterman approached Harrell and said that the 29-year-old had crossed the street before the “Walk” sign was illuminated.
“Sir, you were scaring me, sir,” Harrell responded. “I don’t know why you were following me, anyway. You were following me all the way down the street.”
Soon after, Harrell told Osterman that he knows his constitutional rights and is reaching for his identification. Osterman said that he wanted Harrell to set down his belongings and place his hands behind his back.
With the camera still recording, Osterman threw Harrell against a wall, handcuffed, arrested, and searched him. Harrell was charged with resisting arrest, a pedestrian violation, and possession of less than 3.5 ounces of marijuana.
The video, which has been posted on Facebook and YouTube, has been viewed more than 1.3 million times. Although many people sympathize with Harrell, quite a few believe that the manner in which he talked to Osterman escalated the situation.
“The best thing to do is document, politely comply with the cops and THEN take the issue to court,” wrote mbenzsl2000 on YouTube. “Let the judge deal with situation if you feel your rights were violated. It's a futile attempt to try and get in [a] shouting match with an officer on the street...That never works.”
“The thing you should do was keep calm, until you get away then you GO FILE REPORTS ON THEY [expletive],” wrote Shawn Crump on Facebook. ”[…] That way, it's a paper trail of harassment from them and I guarantee they will eventually leave you alone.”
Cincinnati Police Department released a statement, saying that the incident is being investigated internally and through the Citizen Complaint Authority.