Hartford, CT — On September 11, 2015, journalist and police accountability activist, Michael Picard was illegally detained for lawfully open carrying and filming police on public property. During the illegal detainment, Connecticut state troopers confiscated his gun and his camera. However, the trooper who took the phone went on to make a critical mistake — he left the camera rolling while fabricating a story to falsely charge Picard.
The resultant footage provides a rare, behind the scenes look at what officers are capable of doing to people with whom they disagree. It is nothing short of jaw-droppingly infuriating.
On that September night, Picard and a friend were on public property and warning drivers of a DUI checkpoint ahead. They were several hundred yards from the checkpoint and not interfering at all when troopers drove up, without lights on, and against the flow of traffic, to begin harassing the two gentlemen.
Trooper First Class John Barone, Sergeant John Jacobi, and Trooper Jeff Jalbert falsely claimed that Picard was waving his gun around and pointing it at people. However, Picard was holding a sign the entire time and did not touch his gun. Also, as you will see below, the officers admit that they were lying.
Had Picard actually been waving a gun, these troopers would have approached the situation in an entirely different manner, with guns drawn and possible SWAT backup. However, they did no such thing, because there was clearly no threat from the activists.
The fact that they were no threat did not stop the subsequent assault, though.