A Providence, Rhode Island, Councilwoman intervened when police responded to a noise complaint at her friend’s bar July 22, police body camera footage obtained by the Boston Globe showed.
Police arrived at Fortnight wine bar around 9:30 PM after receiving a complaint from a man who said that someone in the building where the bar is located was playing loud music outside. Video showed an officer walking up to the owner and asking her if she has a permit to play music outside before Kerwin intervenes.
“Hi, hi, I’m councilor Kerwin,” she said, “You mind if I just get Chief Clements on the phone really quick?” she asked officer Michael Sullivan, to which an officer replies “absolutely.” The owner then asked Sullivan to step back, and the two began arguing before Kerwin interrupted to ask for the officer’s name and badge number, video showed.
— Amanda Milkovits (@AmandaMilkovits) August 4, 2020
Officer Darrin Anderson asked Kerwin, “can you please calm down and just come talk to me,” to which she responded, “I’m a councilwoman, please don’t tell me what to do.”
“Can I get your name? I’m calling the chief,” Kerwin told Sullivan. The councilwoman then walked away and the owner told Anderson that she would shut off the music since she didn’t have a permit. Anderson agreed not to give her a court summons.
“I understand your position and you have to understand ours,” Anderson then told the councilwoman, who had returned with her phone. “We work for the city, just like you. We’re just doing our jobs. I understand you want to get our names and our badge numbers, which is fine.”
“My badge is right here, my name is right here, and this whole interaction is recorded,” Anderson said. “I want you to be aware of that since you want to be involved, I wanted to give you full disclosure of why we are here.”
The owner then asked, “is there a reason there are so many cops here right now?” The officer tells her that every time the police drive by that location, people are hostile towards them, so the officers are there for safety reasons.
“What do you think about the black and brown community right now?” the owner asked. “I am Black,” officer Jan-Delle Johnson said.
“There’s literally a sign in your window that says ‘kill a cop,'” Anderson said, to which the owner replied, “it says ‘kill a cop in your mind.'”
The bar has displayed banners that say “ACAB,” which stands for “all cops are bastards,” the Boston Globe reported. In July, one of the owners and his girlfriend allegedly spray-painted the phrase on City Hall and are now facing charges. (RELATED: No Winners, Only Losers: Law Enforcement Officers, GOP Lawmakers Imagine What Would Happen In A World Without Police)
Anderson explained that they were there because someone called for a noise complaint. “They live downtown, they can f*cking get over it,” Kerwin said.
Councilwoman Kerwin released a statement about the incident, in which she claimed “Fortnight was playing music just loud enough for the patrons of the bar sitting outside to hear.”
“Fortnight is a local bar that has vocally defended the Black Lives Matter movement and supported the movement in Providence to defund the police, and they have attested to being a frequent target of harassment by the police,” Kerwin said in the July 23 statement. She also accused an officer of being “extremely belligerent.”
“I am extremely frustrated by the Police Department’s response last night,” Kerwin said. “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.”
Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. denied the councilwoman’s allegations and said that the officers acted professionally, according to the Boston Globe.
Councilwoman Kerwin supports abolishing the police, an idea that’s become mainstream during the protests over the death of George Floyd. She said in a May 26 tweet that reopening businesses on June 1 during the coronavirus pandemic “is a capitalist response that fails to allow our workers to fight this virus in safety.” (RELATED: Abolishing The Police Is Becoming A More Popular Idea Among Left-Wingers)
Yes. Reopening on 6/1 is a capitalist response that fails to allow our workers to fight this virus in safety. Service industry+hospitality workers are going back to work bc our government refuses to grant the resources communities need to survive. https://t.co/19WEfsqTSI
— Kat Kerwin (@KatKerwinPVD) May 26, 2020
Councilwoman Kerwin, the Providence Police Department, and Fortnight wine bar did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.