Blytheville, AR — In the Land of the Free, playing your music at an arbitrary volume can and will result in agents of the state initiating violence against you. A recent body camera video, released from Easter Sunday illustrates this notion.
Patrick Newbern Jr. was enjoying Easter Sunday in a parking lot with several friends when Blytheville police showed up allegedly responding to complaints of loud music.
Instead of merely asking Newbern to turn down his music, the Blytheville police officer decided to issue a citation. Newbern began to move forward in his vehicle, but after moving 20 feet, he stopped.
“Get his ass out of the car,” says the officer.
Police claim Newbern refused to get out of the car. However, the officer’s body cam clearly shows that they gave him no chance to comply before dragging him from the car and throwing him on the ground. They began pulling on him before he could even unbuckle his seatbelt.
“When you ask me to get out the car, you open up the door snatching me out the car without letting me get out my seat belt,” Newbern said. “How can I get out the car in my seat belt?”
Not wanting to have his face rubbed in the pavement or his arms broken, Newbern struggled to comply without causing himself injury. The mere act of not wanting to get hurt was considered a threat to the officers who then escalated to multiple levels of forced compliance through pain.
Police, predictably so, claimed that Newbern went for the officer’s weapon and ‘tried’ hitting one of them. He was tasered multiple times and sprayed with a chemical agent as officers rammed their knees in his back and his face.
“I’m not resisting, bro,” pleads Newbern as the assault continues.
“As soon as I saw the video, it made me sick to my stomach,” Tony Hollis, president of the Mississippi County Chapter of the NAACP, said,
After Newbern was placed in handcuffs, the situation became tense as bystanders crowded around police and demand they let him go. The officers, clearly outnumbered, allowed bystanders to clean the pepper spray from Newbern’s eyes.
According to the police report, Newbern was charged with violating the city’s noise ordinance, fleeing, and resisting arrest. All of this over the volume of his music.
Hollis is now demanding that the officer in the video be disciplined.