It was just another morning in Cincinnati, Ohio for 29-year-old Charles Harrell when he was making his way back from a early morning coffee run. Filming his trip, Harrell recorded his interaction with police officer Baron Osterman, who can be seen trailing behind Harrell on a bicycle. Sharing that the police office asked if he “had a problem,” Harrell noted that this was a normal occurrence in his hometown.
“This is what we have to go through in Cincinnati, harassment” he said. “You can’t be a black man and enjoy your morning, because the police are going to harass you in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
As the video continues to roll, Osterman approaches Harrell for allegedly crossing against the light. In response, Harrell admits that he was frightened by the officer’s trailing of him, stating, “You were scaring me, sir. I don’t know why you’re following me anyway. You followed me all the way down the street.” Osterman then demands that Harrell put his phone and coffee on the ground. Refusing to lay his objects down, Harrell instead offers his I.D., and the officer become physical, warning him: “Don’t reach around.” Harrell is pinned against the wall and handcuffed.
According to Cincinnati.com, this is not the first time Officer Osterman has been linked to the use of excessive force. He reportedly was involved in the death of a black man, Nathaniel Jones, in 2003 in a local White Castle restaurant. The Citizen Complaint Authority ruled that Osterman and his fellow officer James Pike used excessive force in subduing Jones in 2004. They were both cleared in 2008 and awarded financial compensation.
Harrell was arrested for a pedestrian violation, resisting arrest and possession of a small amount of marijuana. The police department released a statement saying that the incident was up for internal review. Watch the footage of the incident below: