A Massachusetts cop who was hailed as a hero last year after a video surveillance camera showed him pulling a man from falling onto subway tracks ended up punching the man in the face repeatedly.
But the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority clipped that segment from the video before releasing it to the media last year, a perfect example of the Police PR Spin Machine in action.
But now that the man’s attorney was finally able to obtain that video, we can see that Detective Sean Conway was not as heroic as originally proclaimed.
Anthony Ferrier, who had been drinking that day, ended up with a black eye. His attorney is now considering filing a lawsuit.
MBTA Transit Police published the 22-second video on its blog last year under the headline, “Transit Police detective’s quick action saves a life,” stating the following:
On May 7, 2014 at approximately 2:10PM at the MBTA’s Park Street station a Transit Police detective happened upon a suicidal male. As the video depicts the male was about to jump into the “pit” area when the quick acting detective was able to grab the male, practically in mid air, and prevent him from harming himself.
“Without Detective Conway’s work, this man likely would have been electrocuted,” Chief Paul MacMillan said Thursday. “We’re very proud of him.”
Transit police detectives are not trained for such rescues, but Conway rose to the occasion, MacMillan said.
“Our detectives are always observing,” MacMillan said. “They are trained to pay attention. You see that at work here.”
Conway was modest — he said he was not a hero and disliked the attention. But he was happy he was able to intervene.
“Usually, I come after the fact,” Conway said. “I’ll have to do an investigation if someone jumps. But I’m glad this time I could help.”
The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital. Before he left, he thanked Conway.
“I said to him, ‘What did you think you were doing? You could have injured yourself,’ ” Conway said. “And that’s when he said thank you. I was happy about that.”
But Ferrier’s lawyer, David Milton, began demanding the entire video, eventually obtaining it eight months later.
As the tape rolls, you see Detective Conway punching Ferrier several times. A photo provided to 5 Investigates by Ferrier’s lawyer shows severe facial injuries the man allegedly received at the hands of the T officer.
“The MBTA misled the public and clearly intended to do so,” said David Milton, Ferrier’s lawyer. “If they truly believe the officer’s actions were appropriate beginning to end, they should have released the entire video and let the public decide.”
It took a lawsuit and eight months for the MBTA to finally release the entire video showing exactly what happened that day. Ferrier’s lawyer calls it a case of excessive force.
In a statement, the MBTA Transit Police told 5 Investigates: “Detective Conway’s use of force was justified and commensurate for the situation.” It went on to say the department’s Use of Force Committee concluded “Conway was in compliance with policy.”
And to think cops are always accusing citizens of editing video to paint them in a bad light.