A Connecticut state trooper seized a man’s camera, telling him it was illegal to record, then made the mistake of allowing the camera to continue to record as he conjured up false charges against the man with another trooper.
“We gotta cover our ass,” Trooper First Class John Barone explained to the other trooper.
Revealing words for a cop who won an award for “outstanding service” in 2008; a man with apparent intellectual limitations, unable to tell the difference between state property and public property.
The incident took place on September 11, 2015 when Michael Picard was standing on the side of the road open carrying, holding up a sign warning drivers about an upcoming DUI checkpoint, all while video recording as we have reported before.
But the video was not posted until Monday after Picard’s attorney failed to get the charges dropped in a hearing.
Picard was expected to pay $300 in fines for citations he received that day as well as on July 3, 2015 where he was also cited for reckless use of a highway by a pedestrian while holding up a sign near DUI checkpoint.
When Picard’s lawyer mentioned they have video evidence, exposing the cops as lying thugs conspiring against his client, the prosecutor offered to reduce the fine to $25.
But Picard refused that offer and now they are going to trial on April 25, 2016.
However, after viewing the video below, it will become evident that the cops should be the ones on trial.
Not only is it legal to open carry in Connecticut, it is illegal for a cop to interfere with citizen’s who record cops, which is exactly what Barone did, thanks to a 2012 law, which has been described as being weak.
“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.”
One trooper even drove up the wrong way on an exit ramp to take part in Picard’s detainment in the name of safety.
Another trooper had seized Picard’s gun, only to learn it was valid, which left Barone disappointed that he would be unable to further bully Picard.
At least without making up charges.
“Want me to punch a number on this? We gotta cover our ass,” he can be heading telling another deputy.
“Crap, I mean we can hit him with creating a public disturbance,” he said. “Um, let’s give him something.”
They also agreed to say they stopped him because multiple people were making reports of him waving a gun around, which was false.
Baron eventually suggested to cite Picard with simple trespassers, reckless use of the highway and creating a pubic disturbance.
“We’ll throw all three charges on the ticket,” he can be heard saying.
They ended up citing him for the latter two charges, totaling a fine of $178.
“If you don’t pay ticket on time, there will be warrant for your arrest,” Picard was told.
Barone’s makes a base salary of at least $103,000 but also makes an extra $40,000 in overtime.
One of the other cops involved in the detainment, Sergeant John Jacobi, won a lifesaving award in 2012 for the actions described below.
On April 12, 2012, Troopers Lebeau, Wilson and Horjatschun and Sgt. Jacobi were blocking the left travel lane on I-95 northbound in Bridgeport, where tow trucks were removing vehicles involved in a collision.
Trooper Wilson observed and called out via radio that a driver was entering I-95 northbound, traveling the wrong way on the exit 28 off ramp. Troopers Horjatschun and Lebeau quickly moved their assigned vehicles into the right-center and right lanes to stop the driver.
The wrong-way driver swerved right and avoided Trooper Horjatschun, grazing the front bumper of his vehicle.
With no regard for his own personal safety, Trooper Lebeau positioned his vehicle in the left center lane, and was struck head on by the wrong way driver. The collision spun Trooper Lebeau’s cruiser around more than 180 degrees.
The suspect vehicle continued the wrong way on I-95 before striking a bridge barrier and bursting into flames. The operator was trapped underneath the steering wheel and dashboard and was unconscious. Sgt. Jacobi fought the engine fire utilizing two fire extinguishers, while Troopers Wilson and Horjatschun extricated the operator from the vehicle. Trooper Lebeau was transported to a local hospital with multiple injuries.
The quick response all involved was brave and undoubtedly saved lives. Trooper Lebeau earned a Medal for Meritorious Service; Troopers Horjatschun and Wilson, as well as Sgt. Jacobi, each earned a Medal for Lifesaving.
If the story is true and Jacobi did save a man from a burning car, then he should be commended. But knowing how this agency likes to lie, we need video proof of his valiant efforts or else it did not happen.