The Vermont Cynic

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‘BPD Brutality’ video goes viral online

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A 54-second video titled “BPD Brutality” was posted to YouTube by senior Cody Weinberger Nov. 2, and has reached more than 69,000 views as of Monday night.

The video depicts two officers, identified as Burlington Police Department Officers Ethan Czyzewski and Ryan Rabideau, restraining a man identified as 20-year-old Shane Langevin of Winooski, Vermont, according to the police affidavit.

The video was shot on the corner of Main Street and Winooski Avenue outside of Mr. Mikes, surrounded by a large crowd.

The officers were responding to the intersection of Main Street and South Winooski Avenue on foot for a report of a man climbing a telephone pole, at approximately 1:28 a.m., according to the affidavit. A group of individuals approached the officers, who order the group to get back.

Langevin was being accused of assault in a different case, according to Officer Czyzewski in the police affidavit.

At 17 seconds into the YouTube video, Czyzewski can be seen delivering three strikes to the man on the ground.

“Officer Rabideau and I continued to order Langevin to place his hand behind his back but he refused. I delivered approximately seven downward strikes to Langevin’s back,” he said in the affidavit.

A man later identified as 32-year-old Michael Mazza of Milton, Vermont approached officers with clenched fists as they were in the process of arresting Langevin, which led Rabideau to pepper spray him, according to the Nov. 3 Burlington Police Department press release.

This can be seen at 20 seconds into the video. Mazza was the only person directly sprayed with pepper spray, Police Chief Michael Schirling said.

Officers attempted to place Langevin under arrest; he refused and tensed his arms several times.

This prompted Czyzewski to deliver a knee strike to Langevin’s left thigh, causing him to fall to the ground, according to the affidavit.

The officer was unable to successfully place Langevin’s hands behind his back, as Langevin stood up and assaulted the officers, according to the affidavit.

“While standing up, Langevin delivered an elbow strike to Officer Rabideau’s right eye and at some point in time hit me [Czyzewski] in the jaw, both Officer Rabideau and I felt pain from the strikes,” according to the affidavit.

Langevin escaped the officers’ grasp and began to run away, and Officer Rabideau deployed his Taser, causing Langevin to fall to the ground, according to the affidavit. Both Czyzewski and Rabideau then went to the hospital to be evaluated for their injuries, according to the affidavit. Czyzewski was treated for facial contusion, according to the press release.

Langevin, who was already on probation, faces a five-count indictment for simple assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and two counts of simple assault on law enforcement officers.

Mazza, who has no prior criminal offenses on record, faces one count of impeding a public officer.

Both Langevin and Mazza pleaded not guilty at their arraignments.

Jacob White, a bouncer at Mr. Mikes witnessed the incident first-hand. White said police were in the wrong.

“Shane should have been arrested obviously, he assaulted someone, but before he got tased, he was just trying to get away. He wasn’t hitting any of the officers,” he said. “Where they tased him was pretty messed up, right in the middle of the street where a car could have hit him.”

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‘BPD Brutality’ video goes viral online