June 5th, 2021 – In Massachusetts, a little over a year has passed since an incident involving an Officer who pointed a gun at an innocent driver and I wanted to write this piece to keep the fight against corruption in our law enforcement profession. On March 2020; David Nin, 21, of Lawrence, was driving home from a shift at this job when he seen an unmarked police vehicle driving slowly in the road. Mr. Nin turned on his signals to pass the slow moving vehicle and continue on his way home which turned out to be a huge mistake.
The video of the alleged incident did not surface until June of that year as a result of an internal investigation by the Methuen Police Department. In the video, after the unmarked car pulled over, the officer stormed out and it shows David Nin begging the officer not to shoot him while the officer ignored his pleas. All this occurred as Nin puts his hands out to be handcuffed showing he was attempting to surrender peacefully to avoid this situation from possibly becoming deadly, not only for him, but for anyone in the vicinity of this out-of-control officer.
From prior incidents, most people are aware that he could have been easily killed had he not surrendered. Mind you, he had not broken any state laws or even traffic ordinances, this was a blatant abuse of authority on the officer’s part.
According to CBS’s affiliate in Boston WBZ, an independent investigator has been called in to look into the incident as the internal investigation could be tainted by his colleagues. Nin told WBZ, “When I tried to pull over to the side he just came out with his gun, telling me not to move. He told me not to move at all.”, Nin said, “I took my hands right out the window I was like, yo chill, don’t shoot.”.
After Nin got out of his vehicle, he was handcuffed and detained approximately fifteen minutes until the officer’s backup arrived. No charges were filed as a result of this altercation between Nin and the officer. WBZ claims that the police were on edge after gang violence had broken out in the town earlier that day, and they were in fear of a retaliatory attack on the police.
According to a police statement issued by the department, they claimed the driver, “did not stop initially upon the activation of the officer’s blue lights, and the vehicle suddenly went into reverse and began to change directions. Officers on-scene ultimately deescalated the situation, and the driver was released without charges.”. Nin states that because of the way the officer had his vehicle parked to his caused Nin to have to back up to position his vehicle at a proper position.
The bodycam the Methuen police officer had allegedly recording twenty-six minutes of the incident. Nin believes that if the officer had used a different approach and a more clearheaded attitude, this could have been a completely different outcome for both Nin and the officer. Nin also stated, “Actually pull me to the side. Not just block the street. Actually come up and try to talk to me.”.
During this whole ordeal, Nin’s girlfriend had began recording the incident as it unfolded. Nin told WBZ, “He was telling her to put it down so, like, I got scared. I like thought he was going to light off (shoot her).”. The officer demanded the girlfriend stop filming the encounter, fortunately this would not have been brought to light had she stopped recording.
This is not the first time Methuen has landed in hot water, and according to the Boston Globe, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon was placed on leave later that year for unrelated misconduct pertaining to his colleague drafting contracts paying him and his senior officers very large salaries.
Show this shows, that the Methuen Police Department has a significant history of public scrutiny for misconducts in the past and after the alleged incident with David Nin.
In July 2015, two other Methuen police officers were suspended for allegedly confiscating a then 69-year-old man’s gun at the Irish Cottage on the 12th. The gun was confiscated due to a misunderstanding that the officer’s claim that it is illegal for anyone to bring a firearm into a bar, nut state law says that anyone can bring a firearm into the bar if the individual is not clearly intoxicated.
Solomon is one of the highest-paid law enforcement officials in the United States, receiving $326,707 in 2019. The contract for Gallant and the other superior officers, which never took effect, would have paid some lieutenants and captains, as well as Solomon, even more.
After speaking with the office of the inspector general this morning, reviewing the report issued today . . . and consulting with legal counsel, I am placing two individuals at the Methuen Police Department on paid administrative leave,” said Perry in a statement. “This is a personnel matter, and as such will be handled with appropriate due diligence, confidentiality, and professionalism. Actions taken today are not considered disciplinary at this time.– Methuen Mayor Neil Perry
Methuen Financial Scandal
Lt. Michael Wnek and Sgt. Tod Himmer who took the then 69-year-old man’s gun and ammunition on July 12 at the Irish Cottage was considered “very reasonable response to a very dangerous situation”, Gary Nolan stated, the attorney who represents the police department’s superior officers union. The two disgraced officers then tried to appeal their decision and fight the allegations that they were in the wrong.
But we can’t solely lay blame on every police officer that comes our way which leads to the perpetual violence between civilians and law enforcement on an almost daily basis across the nation and the world. This also rings true to law enforcement treating American citizens like criminals and the cycle won’t stop until a readjustment of how police are trained to handle spontaneous situations that could arise.
Due to budgets deficiencies, cities such as Philadelphia had to request $14 million dollars for the officers to have tasers and other non-lethal means after a situation in which a mentally ill man waving a knife last year led to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw to publicly admit on television that they were not equipped with non-lethal force to handle this situation that led to the death of Walter Wallace Jr..
An attorney who represents the family of late Walter Wallace Jr. spoke to PBS affiliate WHYY in New Jersey and stated, “Those particular officers were only given a tool to assassinate,”, referring to their service gun. “No Taser. No less-than-lethal device.”.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, what is more disturbing about this is that Philadelphia did not roll out tasers until 2008 under their former police commissioner Charles Ramsey.
An excerpt from the article states the following:
Until our justice system holds any officer accountable for their actions and the officials who are complicit in their behavior from also being held accountable, we won’t see any changes. Holding them to a higher standard (more severe penalties) in the criminal justice system would be a plausible solution as it could possibly deter any officers from doing so in the future.