Cops Didn’t Know Camera Was on as they Conspired to Stack Charges on Citizen

Christine Stuart | Courthouse News Service

(CN) — A Connecticut man received a fistful of tickets for protesting a DUI checkpoint, but he is getting the last laugh in court.

Video released in conjunction with his federal lawsuit shows police spoke openly about fabricating charges while the camera they seized recorded the whole thing.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Michael Picard, who has a habit of protesting DUI checkpoints because he sees them as “contrary to the Fourth Amendment, and a waste of public money.”

Picard was protesting near a checkpoint in West Hartford on Sept. 11, 2015, when Connecticut state trooper John Barone approached. In addition to Barone, the suit names as defendants fellow troopers Patrick Torneo and John Jacobi.

According to the complaint, Barone approached Picard and swatted the camera out of his hand. As the camera clattered to the ground, ejecting its battery, Barone allegedly removed a pistol from Picard’s hip holster and the pistol permit from Picard’s pant pocket.

Picard says Barone had gone to his police cruiser to talk to Torneo and Jacobi, so he picked up his camera and reinserted the battery.

As Picard began filming the officers, the footage shows Barone grabbing the camera, saying, “it’s illegal to take my picture.”

The tape was still rolling, however, when Barone put the camera on the roof and the cruiser and talked with the troopers about Picard.

Picard’s footage show that the troopers were dissatisfied when his pistol permit proved valid.

Barone asked the others, “Do you want me to punch a number on this one? We gotta cover our ass.”

“Punching a number,” according to the complaint, is police slang for opening an investigation in the electronic case management system and assigning it a case number.

The conversation turned to what charges they would issue.

“Torneo said that the defendants should issue Mr. Picard a public disturbance charge, ‘then we claim that in backup we had multiple [motorists] stopped to complain about’ a man waving a gun, ‘but that no one wanted to stop and give a statement,'” the complaint states. “Torneo emphasized the words ‘then’ and ‘multiple’ when speaking, as if formulating the defendants’ cover story aloud.”

The troopers settled on giving Picard two tickets for use of a highway by a pedestrian and for creating a public disturbance by carrying an exposed side arm in plain view of passing motorists.

Picard’s camera proved a rude awakening for the officers when Torneo started to drive away, and the camera slid off the roof onto the hood of the cruiser.

“Oh, shit,” Torneo said, as heard in the footage.

“I ended up with his camera on my roof,” he tells Torneo. “It’s still on.”

This past July, a prosecutor dropped one charge against Picard and nolled the other. Picard is seeking a civil judgment in his favor, but is not specifying any damages,


A spokeswoman for the state police said the troopers are the subject of an ongoing internal investigation.

The Connecticut State Police Unions said in a statement Friday that it believes Picard’s lawsuit is “frivolous and will ultimately be dismissed.”

They cautioned against a rush to judgment “simply because charges were dropped against Mr. Picard.”

Published by Courthouse News Service.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3832 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Daniel W. McCullar

    These officers were involved in multiple counts of conspiracy. They violated this man’s right while under color of law. They illegally took his property. The falsified paperwork. they should be in prison and never be allowed to hold a job in law enforcement again let alone retain their 2nd amendment rights!

    • Preston Onwards

      I don’t know about prison, but at least fired.

      • Daniel W. McCullar

        Yes prison. They committed federal offenses which are felonies. They committed criminal acts. The police officers and should be held going to hire standards but at the minimum to the same standards we are held to

        • Preston Onwards

          What were the felonies?

          • Daniel W. McCullar

            Violation of rights while under color of law is possible by between one and 10 years in federal prison. If I life is lost then the death penalty is automatically on the table at the federal level. They have committed more violations each one punishable by between one and 10 years in prison. And since the total present time would be more than one year that is a felony offense.

          • kidnapping …

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      • why not prison? their lies and false reports could’ve easily gotten him incarcerated . how many times have they done this before? how many people are caged due to their lies?

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  • Baron_of_Greymatter

    They’ll get away with it.

    • Stupidniggerholes


      • Maria Garcia

        Stop being such a cop

      • IQdaRadical Thinker

        Take your meds, hipster attention whore.

  • KillroundeyeISIS

    Rape them, FKKK them, burn them and then rename them!!!
    Go back to the children like PEDERAST child raping police the foundation of raping your monkey family to polio vaccine regime!!!


    Ape girl block chain gang gorilla warfare=stupid USA eu un and super stupid sorry failures!!!

    • deeno4


    • IQdaRadical Thinker

      Take your meds, hipster attention whore #2.

  • Tom

    Sheeze Louise! What a disappointed to have crooked cops like these ones are.

  • Collin Nonapplicable

    Sounds like a bunch of criminals trying to get their story straight after breaking the law. Oh wait… that’s exactly what they are.

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    and when people start shooting and killing thugs with badges, this and many other incidents will be a fine example of why.

  • anarchyst

    The “thin blue line” protects the bad cops. My relatives who are cops cannot understand my dislike for many “practices” that they consider “normal”. Attempts to engage them in Constitutional principles are met with deaf ears. THE LAW IS WHATEVER THEY SAY THE LAW IS.
    Their unwavering allegiance to those (bad) cops who exhibit “abnormal” life-threatening behavior (to us mundanes) and their “making excuses” for such aberrant behavior is sickening.
    You see, all police officers’ ultimate goal is to make it to retirement with as little friction as possible. In many departments, it is possible to retire after 30 years AND to start collecting Social Security at age 55–NOT 66 like the rest of us. In addition, disability claims (too many career lifetime donuts) quite often enable them to live a much more comfortable life than most of us taxpayers who provide these “centurions” with their comfortable lifestyle.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous IF they follow Constitutional principles.
    The militarization of police forces is another big problem. Police departments routinely recruit former military and do very little to change the “us vs. them” mindset that is a staple of military (combat) service.
    In fact, most department actually admire their “special” status and encourage such behavior with “no-knock” midnight SWAT raids and other unconstitutional behavior.
    A small point (but valid, nevertheless) is that EVEN THE NAZIS KNOCKED ON THE DOOR BEFORE GAINING ENTRY.

  • anarchyst

    Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” their questionable and quite often, illegal and criminal behavior.
    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…this makes the “good cops” who are standing around, witnessing their “brethren in blue” beating on a restrained suspect, culpable as well…
    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job.
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.

    • Adrian

      You forgot one more thing that would help End police abuse of power…. END THE QUOTA SYSTEM!! After being on the beat during a day, they are Expected to bring in “Charges” from those they’ve apprehended/accosted or they will remain in the same level of policing, being chastised and not being able to advance up to a higher position. The cops now that are higher up are usually the ones who cheated their way through by pinning innocent victims with frivolous charges for their own benefit. This B.S needs to stop!

      • anarchyst

        …you are absolutely correct. In most jurisdictions, it is claimed that “quotas” are “illegal” (yeah, right), but we know better…

      • Waldetto

        Reform is not the way to ‘fix’ a crappy, immoral, violent system, it needs to be abolished and allow the free market to provide for public safety!

  • Mike

    Each of these cops should be fired IMMEDIATELY!!!! The conspired to lie against this man by issuing him tickets that they knew were false. Don’t just fire the cops, charge them and send to jail.

  • JiminHayward

    This is not real. It makes no logical sense as to why the officers would not just erase the video or toss the camera. There would be no proof of a camera. I mean, if they are already breaking the law why would they not continue to ‘cover themselves’. THIS IS A FAKE STORY.

    • Cliff

      They knew the phone was one, but they didn’t know it was recording. The cop initially thought that the man was taking his picture, not recording a video. Also, you can set the phone to record and lock it, so they couldn’t delete the video or stop the recording. And if they destroyed the phone, the data could still be recovered from the SIM card.

      • JiminHayward

        You will believe any shit you see on the internet. Do you see the stealing? Not a riot. Mor like ‘oh, we’re so upset we gonna nick us some TeeVays and iPads and stuffises’. Damn losers.

        • “You will believe any shit you see on the internet.”

          Completely wrong, you stupid dishonest sack of shit.

          • JiminHayward

            Not only do you believe the shit you see, you can’t admit the truth. Smashed windows at Walmart, Bestbuy and others with merchandise stolen. THATS how concerned those assholes are you fucktard. Shove a rake up your ass you maggot.

  • This is SOP for cops … I’ve been subjected to the same kind of fabrication.

  • doowoplover534

    Nothing new!! The police lie all the time to cover their ass,hiding behind their badges that they shouldn’t be wearing in the first place.This is just one fortunate case that was proven ,how many more cases that they lie and get away with?These checkpoints are right out of Hitler’s NAZI regime!!

  • Steve Kanakanui

    Lets get some Damn oathkeepers …Im not anti cop …im anti bad cop ..these thugs have no business wearing a badge ..Lets protect peoples rights officers , not violate them

  • Glen Moseley

    The Connecticut State Police Unions said in a statement Friday that it believes Picard’s lawsuit is “frivolous and will ultimately be dismissed.”

    FUCK YOU! They are dirty and you should get rid of them if you have any integrity at all!