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Arrest of man who recorded police sparks Black Lives Matter protest in Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli
Protest in Syracuse Friday.

A video of a man who was arrested for recording police in Syracuse has caused outrage from activists.

Maurice Crawley, 52, was filming officers making an arrest when one of them approached Crawley, arrested him and swore at him. Crawley was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the Onondaga County Justice Center Friday morning. Organizer Herve Comeau says he believes Crawley was within his legal rights to video the officer, and says the officer should be fired.

“We’re looking for accountability. We’re looking for the officer involved, not only to be terminated as a police officer, but to be brought up on charges the way any citizen who commits this kind of crime would be charged," said Comeau.

Comeau says the officer threatened Crawley and threw him to the ground. The video was not focused on the Crawley and the officer for the entire encounter.

Crawley pled not guilty and was released Friday. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler met with some of the activists. They say Fowler has called the video troubling and problematic. The police department is conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.