Citizen Captures Connecticut Troopers Discussing Charges Against Protester To “Cover Our Asses”

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.41.22 AMA new citizen videotape has triggered an internal police investigation of Connecticut State troopers who are heard discussing charges for Michael Picard, 27, who was warning citizens of a DUI checkpoint. One of the officers is heard to say “we gotta cover our asses.” The officers are also heard threatening the citizen recording them. The police union has said that the officers acted appropriately.

Picard was standing near a state police DUI enforcement checkpoint near the on-ramp to I-84 on Park Road at about 7 p.m. holding a sign that read “Cops ahead. Keep calm and remain silent.” The troopers are shown discussing any possible charges to levy against Picard.

Picard is first told that it is illegal to record the troopers. The videotape is another example of the value of videotape in the proving of police abuse. We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. (For prior columns, click here and here). Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, these abuses continue.

When Picard objects that he is allowed to tape officers, he is told that he is on “state property.” That would seem a highly questionable claim that treats public property as state property for the purpose of banning citizen videotaping. One officer identified as Trooper First Class John Barone is captured in this exchange:

“It is illegal to take my picture,” Barone told him. “Personally, it’s illegal.”

“No, it isn’t,” Picard told him.

“Did you get any documentation I’m allowing you to take my picture?”

“No, but you’re on public property,” Picard told him. “You have no expectation of pri ….”

“No, I’m not,” Barone responded. “I’m on state property. I’m on state property.”

The officer is then heard asking the other officers “Want me to punch a number on this? We gotta cover our asses.” One responds “Let’s give him something.” The police then confront Picard about his possession of gun, but Picard explains that he has an open carry permit. He was detained for 40 minutes to check that claim but then given citations for other crimes.

The officers appear to be working out the possible crime theory with one saying “I think we do simple trespass, we do reckless use of the highway and creating a public disturbance.” Another says “and then we claim, um, in backup we had multiple people, um, they didn’t want to stay and give us a statement, so we took our own course of action.”

When Picard got to court on his $178 ticket, a prosecutor offered to nullify the charges if he paid a $25 fine. He refused. However, critics say that the purpose of the citation had already served its purpose: to stop a citizen from exercising his right to both protest and videotape police. It further imposed a penalty in making him appear in court and fight the citations.

Here is the videotape posted on YouTube:

What do you think? If you believe that the officers were manufacturing charges, what is the appropriate punishment for the officers?

60 thoughts on “Citizen Captures Connecticut Troopers Discussing Charges Against Protester To “Cover Our Asses””

  1. Oky1; “Give me liberty or give me death” MUST be our level of commitment. Freedom is the highest value; even higher than love because without freedom there is no possibility of love. It seems people have forgotten what freedom is. We’re born into slavery and the natural instinct to rebel has been crushed from such an early age. Do we really have to lose all of our freedoms before people wake up? My hope lies in the fact that our country is YOUNG and the conditioning is not as deep as with countries much older than ours. We still have that rebellious spirit however buried it might appear.

    Osho on Gurdjieff’s last words to his disciples – ‘Bravo, America.”

  2. Ooh Rah Hildegard
    1, February 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Back in Scotland my family showed up for the battles. At the founding of this country my family showed up for battle fighting with the Virgina Continental line under Patrick Henry, ” Give me Liberty or give me Death”.

    Hildegard, my family has also fought on the side of just be honorable & decent as human beings.

    They were there at Normandy & Iwo Jima & most every where else guarding Freedom & Liberty.

    You, I & others have no other choice but to stay in the fight for freedom & liberty with our hands tied behind our backs because we must always remain honorable & decent.

    It can be gone & will be, have no doubt!

  3. Sorry, that should read “Ranchers: The original welfare queens.

    And still among the biggest “takers” in the land.

  4. I am perfectly well aware of the wars that took place in the West, although some might call them massacres of innocent natives. The history of western expansion is replete with theft, treachery, and murder, along with generous handouts.

    Cowboys: The original welfare queens

    1. monty z – ah, you are such an innocent about the West. Someday you might wake up and smell the roses.

  5. Bundy’s, Finicum & others there were warned their protest was a bad strategy & they should leave & what for a better opportunity to air their grievances.

    I still support they should have left long ago.

    At least part of what the Bundy’s Nevada protest a year or so ago were arguing was under Article 1 Section 8.

    “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And ”

    I don’t recall the complete argument, but I do recall it was shown that Sen Reid needed Bundy’s ranch so he could close a 5 Billion deal with the Chinese for Sen Reid’s son for a Solar Energy plant.

    I suggest people watch or listen to Infowars & read their site for at least 6 months so they might better form their opinions & knowledge of the facts instead of constantly arguing by pounding the table with neither the facts or the law on their side. Whether or not you agree with Infowars.

    {What Everyone Should Know About The Oregon Standoff }

  6. Hildegard: Thank you for these videos. They’re hilarious! The dumb and dim-witted offer up self-serving delusional rants for the rabble. I love it! I’m sharing them with everyone I know.

    What I’d really like to see is some slow-mo footage of the shootout, ala Peckinpah. do you think you could find some? Please.

  7. The federal government manages land on behalf of the owners, the American people. The ranching class are the original takers of this country. They took land from native Americans. They were given land by the federal government. And they continue to receive water, untainted water, courtesy of the federal government.

    The Bundy’s are tax cheats. The refuse to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of lands that they graze cattle on at a steeply discounted rate.

    BTW, Reagan was the one who refused to set aside those rates. If he were still president, the occupation would have been put down swiftly by any means necessary.

    1. monty z – you have never lived in the West have you? You haven’t the foggiest notion of the history of the wars that went on in the West. Or the wars that continue to go on in the West.

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