JOHNSON CITY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Johnson City Police have released body cam video from the protest held Wednesday night at Wegmans showing their arrest of former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
Police issued a follow up news release, posted below, in which it retracts assertions made yesterday that Ryan had lied about going shopping in the store prior to the protest.
J.C. Police now acknowledge that Ryan did purchase grocery items and did not arrive with the protesters.
However, they continue to assert that Ryan’s subsequent arrest was lawful as he did not comply with multiple commands to leave private property.
Ryan argues that because he was there as merely a legal observer, he should have been allowed to stay and document the event.
Here is a link to the video on the Johnson City Police Department Facebook page: https://fb.watch/it8IQTUz3S/
J.C. Police say they intend to release additional body camera footage related to the protest that led to the closure of Wegmans and the arrests of 15 people, including Ryan.
Read JCPD’s full statement below:
In the interest of being transparent and keeping our account of the events surrounding Wednesday’s protest as accurate as possible, we wish to issue a retraction to some of the statements made regarding former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
Mr. Ryan claimed that he was at the store shopping, and we accused him of lying. More extensive review of the video footage revealed that Mr. Ryan did buy groceries prior to the start of the event, and we apologize for stating that he lied about that fact.
We had misidentified Mr. Ryan as another subject on surveillance video who did not enter the store, which is what led to our initial statement. Upon further review of video, Mr. Ryan
entered Wegmans about 15 minutes before the protest while other members of the protest group were also entering the store. The other members of the group appear to pretend to shop in an attempt to blend in with customers in an effort to avoid detection. Mr. Ryan did select groceries and paid for them and exited the store at the time the protest began. He ran presumably to his car and dropped off his groceries before donning a winter hat and approaching the protest area. While in the vicinity of the protest he engages in a verbal dispute with an uninvolved bystander, who he ends up shouting profanities at. According to the bystander, she did not know who Mr. Ryan was, but that he identified himself as an attorney and stated that he was there with the protesters.
In addition to multiple warnings directed to everyone there via the PA system, Mr. Ryan was personally told several times by multiple officers at different times that he needed to leave the premises. Wegmans had closed at that point and wished to have everyone leave the property. Mr. Ryan refused to leave as ordered, and upon refusing the final order to leave, was taken into custody for trespass.
We are also releasing clips of video relative Mr. Ryan’s involvement. These video clips can be viewed on our Facebook page. We are still reviewing vast amounts of body camera video and preparing it for public release.Johnson City Police Department