Newly-released video shows Nicholas Belsito being arrested, tackled, handcuffed and placed in a patrol car with a broken nose and bloody face after cursing at an Erie County deputy outside a Buffalo Bills game on Dec. 3, 2017.
The incident began when Belsito dared to ask Deputy Kenneth P. Achtyl where he was taking Belsito’s friend who had been arrested outside New Era Field, notes The Buffalo News.
Achtyl threatened to arrest Belsito for daring to ask a question. Belsito walked away, and turned to curse. That’s when Achtyl jumped out of the patrol car to arrest Belsito. Deputy James W. Flowers also joined in.
The Marshall Project noted in 2015 that it legal to curse at police.
Their police report claimed that Belsito “engaged in fighting” and in “violent, tumultuous and threatening behavior.”
However, the police body cam video never shows that.
The Buffalo News notes: “Belsito is taking hits to the face and body from Achtyl’s baton and doing little to protect himself.”
Sheriff Timothy B. Howard claimed that the police body cameras might expose false or exaggerated claims of police brutality.
Aaron F. Glazer, a lawyer representing Belsito in a lawsuit, told The Buffalo News how the charges against Belsito — disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and criminal mischief — were dropped because of those body cameras:
The assistant DA took one look at this video and dismissed everything. I’m a former prosecutor and I don’t like to take on cases against law enforcement. But this was just too egregious.