Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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Ohio Man Arrested For ‘Laughing While Black’


A black man from Ohio was awarded $80K to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit after he claimed he was arrested and beaten for laughing at police officers. Robert Spencer, 30, was arrested by Garfield Heights police officers Kenneth Falzini and David Simia in July 2017, Cleveland.com reported. The officers alleged that Spencer had threatened them, pushed one of the arresting officers, and resisted arrest, according to the publication. In the video recorded by Spencer’s girlfriend and obtained by the publication, the 30-year-old can be seen mocking the police officers by calling them “Beavis & Butthead” and referring to one officer as “Elvis.” Spencer can also be heard telling the officer “y’all got the motherf******g right to remain rank.” The attorney’s for Spencer said the word “rank” means to make fun of someone, Cleveland.com reported. He was charged with assault and aggravated menacing, according to the publication. The Chandra Law Firm LLC, who represents Spencer, said that in the video the officers told him “saying stuff to us when we drive by” justified the arrest and said this incident could have been avoided by “keep[ing] his mouth shut when we came out.”