CHICOPEE - A Springfield police officer was denied a criminal complaint against a woman who videotaped him standing by as a colleague allegedly brutally beat a black motorist with a flashlight during a traffic stop in 2009.
Tyrisha Greene, 29, of Springfield, was summonsed to Chicopee District Court Wednesday for a hearing to explore whether an illegal wiretapping charge against her was warranted - at officer Michael Sedergren’s request.
Sedergren filed an application for a criminal charge against Greene for videotaping the Nov. 27, 2009, alleged beating of Melvin Jones III, through her window on Rifle Street.
State law prevents secret audiotaping. However, there must be an expectation of privacy to fall within the law, according to Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni.
Assistant Clerk Magistrate Joanne M. McCarthy rejected the application after a short closed-door hearing. The Republican unsuccessfully petitioned to open the hearing to the public. McCarthy denied the petition based on Sedergren’s objection, according to those present.
“We expected a fair hearing and we received one,” David B. Kelly said outside the courtroom on Wednesday. “We felt as though there was no evidence against Ms. Greene for wiretapping.”/b>
Had McCarthy opted to issue the complaint, Mastroianni said he likely would not have prosecuted the case at any rate.
“I’m leaving the door open if there is more evidence presented to me, but as I understand the facts now, this case falls far short of the wiretapping statute,” he said.
The fact that Sedergren failed to criminalize Greene on wiretapping charges for videotaping him could set precedent in a state where the precedent hasn’t been very clear, meaning his retaliatory attempts may have backfired.