Derrick J. Asks Pepper Spraying Cop for an Apology

This is a follow up to the Live Free or Dance Party on September 9th 2011, which led to the arrests of Ryan Maddox, Roz, Nick and Derrick J. Freeman. While several events transpired that evening, this video’s focus will be on Derrick and his arresting/pepper spraying officer, Copcha (Michael). After handcuffed Derrick cooperates by walking to the police car. Rather than assisting Derrick, like he had for the 150 meter walk to the cruiser, Copcha asks Derrick “are you going to get in the car.” Derrick verbally refuses, he states “I feel as though I’m being kidnapped”. He warns Derrick with pepper spray if he doesn’t comply, Derrick repeats his reasoning. Copcha proceeds to pepper spray Derrick, then assists him in the cruiser (This part of the video is included).
On December 21st Derrick speaks with Copcha & asks him several questions in reference to the incident, including an apology request… Copcha Declines. Also a few days after the Sept. 9th occurrence, Jason Talley asks Copcha several questions about the incident.
I’ll give a briefing on the entire incident to those who are unfamiliar.
Police came to the Square around 10:1510:30, due to a “so called” complaint, in conjunction with a violation of using an electrical outlet in a public park (why do they have it if no one is able to use it?) Anyways, the complaint was bogus, based on the several witnesses who were there. The music could not be heard outside the Gazebo, let alone across the street & the music had not even completed a song. At one point before things escalated, Copcha stated, “just shut it down and were out of here.” It was shut down, unplugged & the cops remained on the scene. Just a side note, if the music had been blasting to the point where people living nearby could hear, we would have understandably complied.
The cops wanted someone to claim the equipment and check someone’s ID. One of the Juggalo’s (Nick) said it was his. The cops knew it wasn’t, because they know the kid & they had a run in with him earlier in the night (as heard on the original video). Why does Nick claiming the property lead to his arrest? I have no idea, but to speculate, the kid got into trouble earlier in the night & they wanted a reason to arrest this kid. After Nick was arrested & hauled off, the cops proceed to seize the equipment. The attempt to prevent the property from being stolen by the Keene PD, is what leads to the three arrests (holding onto the property while the cops pried it away). I didn’t want the police to take the equipment either, it’s an expensive piece of equipment, it’s something several of us use for Karaoke on a weekly basis among many other uses. What gives them the right (they knew it wasn’t Nicks)? Another side note… the Live free or Dance Party occurred the previous week with no problems & several following Friday’s after this incident with no issues.
This leads to the pepper spray incident, which is unbelievably perplexing why a cop would use pepper spray on someone who demonstrated no signs of physical violence, & someone who assisted the cops to the cruiser? Even if someone was handcuffed, resisted getting into the car, and extremely violent, pepper spray would be excessive. These people go through an academy where they learn to subdue individuals, to resort to such measures is inexcusable. Even to those out there who disagree with Derrick & the actions of those involved. You have to agree, that it’s unethical for an officer to get revenge/justice, because someone is annoying or gives them a hard time. This is what they get paid to do.
Aside from that, I’m not happy with how I behaved that night. Not that I, or anyone else there should have been arrested, but I was cussing & screaming like a jack-ass. For that, I’m sorry to the Keene police who were on scene, along with those (including myself) who see the importance of having positive interactions with the PD, the community & people in general. Of course I have issues with the institution, how it’s funded & the lack of accountability that’s inevitable in a forced monopoly etc… but I try to give them the identical respect, which I give to any stranger I come in contact with in my daily endeavors. I’ve had discussion with some of the local cops & generally they’re good people. Of course I have issues once again with the notion that they’re upholding unethical laws & caging peaceful people, but I think when they’re not following orders, they’re potentially good people.
In reference to Copcha, I think he knows he made a bad judgment that night and I’d be willing to bet he feels guilty and is regretful for what happened. Aside from that incident, he’s been a very reasonable person anytime I’ve had interactions with him, or witnessed his interactions with others.

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