Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony

Submitted by Joe

As Reported at the Village Voice

In the first jury trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest, Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges yesterday after his lawyers presented video evidence directly contradicting the version of events offered by police and prosecutors.

In the police version of events, Premo charged the police like a linebacker, taking out a lieutenant and resisting arrest so forcefully that he fractured an officer’s bone. That’s the story prosecutors told in Premo’s trial, and it’s the general story his arresting officer testified to under oath as well.

But Premo, facing felony charges of assaulting an officer, maintained his innocence. His lawyers, Meghan Maurus and Rebecca Heinegg, set out to find video evidence to contradict it. Prosecutors told them that police TARU units, who filmed virtually every moment of Occupy street protests, didn’t have any footage of the entire incident.

Reviewing video shot by a citizen-journalist livestreamer during Premo’s arrest, [Maurus] learned that a Democracy Now cameraman was right in the middle of the fray, and when she tracked him down, he showed her a video that so perfectly suited her needs it brought a tear to her eye.

For one thing, the video prominently shows a TARU cop named Bosco, holding up his camera, which is on, and pointing at the action around the kettle.

TARU Camera - NYPD

TARU Camera – NYPD

When Premo’s lawyers subpoenaed Bosco, they were told he was on a secret mission at “an undisclosed location,” and couldn’t respond to the subpoena. Judge Robert Mandelbaum didn’t accept that.

Bosco claimed, after meeting with Prosecutors and Defense Counsel. straining credibility, that though the camera is clearly on and he can be seen in the video pointing it as though to frame a shot, he didn’t actually shoot any video that evening.

Even more importantly, the Democracy Now video also flipped the police version of events on its head. Far from showing Premo tackling a police officer, it shows cops tackling him as he attempted to get back on his feet.

After watching the video, the jury deliberated for several hours before returning a verdict of not guilty on all counts.

This isn’t the first time someone arrested during an Occupy Wall Street march has gone free after video evidence undercut prosecutors storyline and sworn police testimony. Photography student Alexander Arbuckle was acquitted in May after a livestreamer’s footage showed police weren’t telling the truth about his arrest.

“That was really important,” Maurus said. “Without that evidence, this would have been a very different case. There are many, many cases that don’t have so much video evidence to challenge the police version of events, but in this case, we did.”

For Premo, being found innocent affirms something even more fundamental:

“The biggest thing for me coming out of this,” he told the Voice, “is not being discouraged by the attempts of New York City to quell dissent and prevent us from expressing our constitutional rights.”

On Twitter and Facebook, Premo celebrated his not-guilty verdict by quoting the lawyer Elizabeth Fink: “There is no justice in the American justice system, but you can sometimes find it in a jury.”

Badges don’t grant extra rights, camera’s become the equalizer.


  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    WTF….you PIGS just make up shit as you go….if no one questions it ….you keep running with it..

    When Premo’s lawyers subpoenaed Bosco, they were told he was on a secret mission at “an undisclosed location,” and couldn’t respond to the subpoena. Judge Robert Mandelbaum didn’t accept that.

    I about pissed my pants when I read

    on a secret mission at “an undisclosed location”
    So let me get this right(chime in anytime T)

    Pigs are free to ignore subpoenas so long as they are on secret missions at undisclosed locations?

  • rick

    Why do police want to destroy someone’s life by through arrest and false testimony?
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the hammer needs to drop on police who commit perjury (citizens as well). The officers found blatantly lying on the stand should face the maximum punishment the accused were facing.
    In this case all arresting officers who falsely testified Premo assaulted them would be sent to prison for seven years (2nd degree assault in NY).

  • rick

    Class C felony: “not to exceed 15 years”
    Even more time for those liars to think about what they did!

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  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse


    Thats what I say also.

    The DA also should keep a record book of who the cops are that LIE.

    Some bitch cop tried to get me by lying also……Turns out she is just a 2bit thief that was BUSTED stealing at lord & taylor and has a court date of her own…..

  • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Truthspew

    There’s serious precedent being established here; it says that all cops are lying pigs. I wonder how long it’ll take the politicians to realize that?

  • David


    Most AG keep a credibility list called a Laurie list.

  • courtofpublicopinion

    @ truthspew who do you think taught them TO lie! and gives them the power to force those lies down our throats? politicians of course.

  • Shawn

    The only reason cops are able to operate like this is because of the public’s ignorance. Simply put,too many are not paying attention. If people actually paid attention, no one would believe a word cops say. They need to start hammering cops for perjury and filing false charges. You can destroy innocent people’s lives with that crap.

    I’m no occupier fan, but if you have to make shit up to get an arrest, then they aren’t doing anything wrong.

  • http://google workingman

    WOW! if no charges are brought against the cops,and any of there witnesses and maybe the prosecutor to this in a injustice to the whole system. Why didn’t the judge at the moment say to the prosecutor about looking into the charges of perjure? Joe,let me open another can of worms here.what about all the other arrests and court trials where this cop was involved in were was he lying then? dose he have the same witness all the time? maybe those people that have be arrested by him have a right to a new trail they should look into all of his arrests plus did he receive any money from a insurance claim for his injuries on his false statements. they open this can of worms they put you on defence BUT you have the ball now and it looks like you can score here even if nothing happens you can expose them for what they really are to the people. make a lot of noise try to press charges tell the local news.get him fired he blatantly lied in court to the prosecutor to the judge to the jury just to get a innocent man locked up to frame him!if they do nothing then that shows that they all are complicit with this sort of thing. “if you knock one of mine over i am going to knock two of yours over” GOOD LUCK!

  • Ian Battles

    It is now a proven fact that these cops lied under oath.

    So when do they get charged with felony Perjury?

  • BluEyeDevil


  • Boa

    Blue eye devil how about I fuk u

  • Boa

    Little puss .tough guy on computer .haha wow!