Experimental metal legends Animals As Leaders have released details of a very distressing ordeal. Members and friends of the band allege that they were unlawfully arrested and brutalised by police after a show in Boston last weekend.
While rumours had begun to circulate, a friend of the band and someone who was present during the arrest, known only as JESSICA BLANK2, started an online petition calling on the Governor of Massachusetts to exonerate Javier Reyes (guitarist) of all charges placed against him.
In the petition names were modified for privacy. The step-by-step description was the first time details of the event were made public, and it was received by massive public outcry.
JESSICA BLANK2 describes how:
Upon leaving The Tam in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, May 27th, 2012, around 1:30 am, DUSTIN BLANK1 was playing ‘air-guitar’ to a song, which was playing in the bar, as we all exited onto the sidewalk. There was another civilian (white male, unrelated to our party) to our right, off the sidewalk, whom police were talking to.
After walking past the civilian whom police were talking to, Officer BLANK forcefully shoved BLANK1, from behind, and informed him that he was interfering with a police investigation. Confused and startled, BLANK1 turned around and asked what Officer BLANK was talking about. Officer BLANK then grabbed BLANK1 by the throat and slammed him against a wall, then turned him around to handcuff and arrest him.
Meanwhile, JAVIER REYES pulled out his cell phone and informed the officers that he was recording the arrest. Immediately, Officer BLANK turned around from arresting BLANK1 and hit Reyes’s cell phone from his hands (both hands were holding the cell phone) onto the ground, breaking the cell phone. Next, Officer BLANK grabs Reyes and shoved him face first into a wall and handcuffs him. Neither BLANK1 nor Reyes, in any way, resisted arrest.
Friend, TOSIN ABASI, concerned about how quickly things had escalated, asked an officer what was going on and why BLANK1 and Reyes were being arrested. Officer BLANK then shoves Abasi into the side of the police cruiser and asks him if he is trying to assault an officer. Officer BLANK asks this question while both of Abasi’s hands are in his pockets. Abasi denied attempting to assault an officer, pointed out that his hands were in his pockets, and admitted that he was only asking a question.
Worried about my friends and feeling shocked about what I had just witnessed, I, JESSICA BLANK2, announced that I did not feel safe. An officer replied to me by saying “Then call the police.” Surprised by this disrespectful sarcasm, I responded, “You are the police.” Another response came, “Then call 911.” Again, I responded, “You are 911.” Officer BLANK chimed in saying that I had quite the mouth on me for a lady and to “get out of here”...
Reports came in later that the incident was so distressing for those involved, a member of the group collapsed and had a seizure. By the end of it all, Reyes had been charged with assault and battery of a police officer.
The band was forced to cancel the next show of the tour and took to Facebook to explain the situation briefly to fans. Members of the public can now sign the petition to help support the cause. It would appear the police bit off more than they could chew this time.