Musicians claim unnecessary force used during arrest - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Musicians claim unnecessary force used during arrest


Two men arrested after a confrontation with police on Lower Broadway are speaking out about what they call "unnecessary force."

The three men are musicians and were loading their equipment into their car. Officers handcuffed and arrested the men after a scuffle that started with a parking ticket.

What happened outside Layla's at 2 a.m. was caught on tape and uploaded to YouTube.

"I didn't do anything," said Matthew Paige from the hood of a police car Friday morning outside Layla's, captured from a video uploaded to YouTube.

Paige said the handcuffs and the arrest were not necessary.

"It was the most absurd amount of aggressive force I'd ever seen," said Paige.

Paige and his friends left Layla's after performing at about 2 a.m. Paige's girlfriend was double-parked on the street because a taxi was in the musician's loading zone.

Metro police wrote her a ticket. Paige said while he was loading gear into the car, he accidentally bumped the officer's car.

"He said, 'You need to watch where you're carrying your stuff, boy. You just hit my cruiser,'" said Paige.

The officer asked for his ID. Paige challenged him and ended up in handcuffs.

Jeffrey Marcum happened to have a camera. He had been shooting video of the band at Layla's. He told police he was taping everything, then he found himself in handcuffs.

"He's yelling at me to back up, so I begin retreating," said Marcum.

Marcum said he did not charge the police, like the report said.

"He continued to come after me, so I started backing up faster," said Marcum. "He shoved me, and you can see the camera go all catawampus."

Marcum, Paige and Galen Mitchell were all arrested on a variety of charges, including resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.

"I could have definitely had better choices of words and not been so loud, but that doesn't justify how physical they got with us," said Marcum.

"I wouldn't have done anything differently," said Paige. "I wouldn't have just stood there and had someone walk all over me because he didn't like the way I dressed or he didn't like the way I moved."

Metro police was unavailable for a response to these comments. Earlier police statements said the incident was being reviewed.

Paige goes to court in late August. Marcum took a plea bargain and was sentenced to probation.

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