By: Jefferson Marshall
Charles Harrell was strolling through the streets of Cincinnati on the morning of February 6th, 2016. Minding his business, drinking his cappuccino; when he began to be followed and questioned by a Cincinnati street cop.
Harrell filmed altercation, and was uploaded it on March 5th. In the video, Officer Baron Osterman tailed Harrell who became very suspicious and continued to record. Osterman finally confronted Harrell about “jaywalking”, and told him to put his phone and his cappuccino cup down which Harrell replied “I know my rights, I know my constitutional rights.”
That’s when Osterman forcefully made the citizen of Cincinnati drop his phone and his cappuccino and put him in handcuffs. However, the phone was still recording when it was dropped on the pavement and there is a slight glimpse of Harrell being arrested at the tail end of the video.
Harrell was charged with a pedestrian violation, possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana, and resisting arrest.
“The final charge was the result of Harrell’s refusal to stop reaching into his pockets, delaying the arrest.” stated Osterman
Now, there is no definitive video evidence of Harrell committing an act of jaywalking, and Officer Osterman was silently trailing him for a considerable amount of time before eventually approaching the accused.
It is known from documents like Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow that some police officers will use a method of approaching people they believe would likely have possession of drugs by using minor pedestrian violations as an excuse in hopes to arrest them, and this tactic is grossly used against African-Americans.
As for Osterman, it has been discovered that he has been involved in a previous racially-biased incident as he was one of three cops that beat down an unarmed black man to death back in 2003.
On March 1st, Harrell took a photo of a group of cops in the courthouse hallways and uploaded the image to Facebook with a caption that says “Look at these pigs y’all I’m at court after I beat this shit I will post the video of how they did me.”
That photo landed Harrell with another arrest as photography in the courthouse is prohibited, and Harrell is still in jail as for now.