A Rhode Island city councilwoman got involved when cops showed up at a Providence bar for a noise complaint, asking for officers’ names, threatening to call the police chief and saying those bothered by the noise can “f–cking get over it,” video shows.
The footage, released Monday by police in response to an open records request by the Boston Globe, shows Providence Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin introducing herself to an officer after he met with one of the owners of Fortnight Wine Bar on July 22 to ask if the establishment had a permit to play music outside.
“Hi, hi, um, I’m Councilor Kerwin, what’s up?” she says.
Kerwin, who has been a vocal proponent of defunding Providence police, then tells an officer she’s friends with one of the owners, who confirms to police the bar didn’t have a permit to play music outside.
Kerwin then references Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr., saying “You mind if I get Chief Clements on the phone really quick?”
A second officer then engages Kerwin outside the bar, asking her to calm down, video shows.
“No, no, I’m a councilwoman, please don’t tell me what to do,” Kerwin replies. “Thank you.”
The officer then tells Kerwin she’s being recorded as she again asks for the first officer’s name while saying she intended to call Chief Clements, the footage shows.
Music is heard blaring in the background as an officer continues to discuss the noise complaint with one of the owners.
“Just so you know, we didn’t come just here to bust you up,” the officer tells Kerwin’s friend. “We got a call for loud music.”
Kerwin’s friend then agrees to shut off the music and an officer says he wouldn’t give her a summons before the councilwoman returned to the scene outside while holding her cellphone, video shows.
An officer then tried to explain the situation again to Kerwin, who was seemingly not pleased by the noise complaint and the encounter with police, video shows.
“They live downtown, they can f–king get over it,” Kerwin said of whomever called cops over the loud music.
“OK, well, you can explain that to them, because they called,” the officer says.
Kerwin, a Democrat who was elected in 2018, declined to comment on the footage Monday, referring to a July 23 statement she released after the encounter, the Globe reports.
Kerwin, who claims the bar had been harassed by cops because its owners support the Black Lives Matter movement, said she was “extremely frustrated” by the department’s response.
“It is clear to me that what I observed was an attempt to harass a small business for bravely supporting youth organizers and working alongside community leaders to defund the police,” Kerwin’s statement read.
Clements, meanwhile, has said he believes the officers on the footage responded professionally, the Globe reports.
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