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Northampton arrest video goes viral

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

A YouTube video showing Northampton police pepper spraying a suspect has gone viral amid claims of racism and wrongful arrest by people that saw it happen.

The video which was posted on Monday has already been viewed more than 49,000 times.

The video was posted by a YouTube user under the pseudonym "tired ofit." It shows the arrest of 26-year-old Amherst resident Jonas Correia outside of Tully O'Reilly's in Northampton early Sunday morning.

According to the police report obtained by CBS 3 Correia was yelling loudly at a Tully's staff member and raised his right arm into what police describe as a fighting stance. A Northampton officer intervened by grabbing Correia's wrist to prevent him from striking the worker. The report says that the officer told Correia to stop resisting and that when he did not the officer sprayed him with pepper spray.

In the almost five-minute video you can hear Correia continuously yelling that he did not do anything wrong.

Under the description of the YouTube video it reads in part that police arrested an innocent black man outside of Tully O'Reilly's for no reason. And that all he did was take out his phone and start recording the police.

"I was walking away like a normal person," said Correia in the video. "I was walking away"

And, in the background of the video many people nearby can be heard yelling that this was a racist arrest.

"Just let him go he didn't do anything. He didn't do anything just because he is black," yelled one woman.

Correia was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He denied those charges Monday and was released.

In a statement released through the Mayor's Office, Northampton's Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz issued a brief statement about the incident:

"The NPD was summoned to Tully O'Reilly's in response to a series of altercations that took place that night. In the moments before the video started, the arrested individual had attempted to assault a Tully's bouncer and fled the grasp of an NPD officer, and he was then subdued, arrested and placed into custody. The taking of pictures played no role in the arrest. NPD officers are well-versed in the laws concerning videotaping, as clearly demonstrated by their non-interference with the filming of the YouTube video. Appropriate charges have been filed against this individual and will follow the usual procedure through the courts. The NPD is continuing to investigate this matter to assure compliance with all department rules and regulations."

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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