In Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a police officer was suspended without pay for attacking a pepper spraying an unarmed man who didn’t commit a crime. Officer Nathan Baker was moved to attack the man after he flipped the cop the bird in a bid to test his First Amendment rights.
Adam Rupeka, who works with the police transparency group CopBlock, was driving in Saratoga Springs and had two running cameras in his vehicle. When Rupeka gave Baker the one-finger salute, things got a bit dicey as reported by local outlet WNYT. Video obtained by the station depicts how the tense ordeal went down, and now Baker is facing the termination of his position.
Adam Rupeka gave Officer Nathan Baker the finger, and a few seconds later, Baker was pulling Rupeka over.
When the officer asked for his license and registration, Rupeka demanded to know what law had been broken.
During a 30-second conversation, the officer tells Rupeka to step out of the car and when he doesn’t, Officer Baker sprays him with pepper spray.
Rupeka was arrested for obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, and was ticketed for an obstructed view for having the camera on the dash.
The charges were dismissed Thursday morning.
Not only was Rupeka pepper sprayed, but Baker also used harsh tactics to remove the man from the stopped car. The exchange between the pair was all caught on video, and there were a few expletives uttered during the confrontation.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Greg Veitch said Thursday that he will aim to fire Baker but give him the grace of a disciplinary hearing first. Rupeka’s attorney has intentions to sue Baker, and possibly the city and the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
One has to wonder, what kind of situation would this have morphed into if Rupeka wasn’t a white man?
Watch the pepper spray attack and arrest of Adam Rupeka by Saratoga Springs police officer Nathan Baker in the clip below. A Warning: There is harsh language in the clip.