Things are moving quickly in Howard Bryant’s domestic assault and battery case. Bryant has already pleaded not guilty to the charges levied upon him and just as quickly, he has played the race card.
Bryant and his wife Veronica spoke to the Springfield Republic and they both deny there was an assault and they both contend that the charges were brought only because Bryant is black.
“This case is about the fact that racism still exists in America, and Howard Bryant is a victim of it,” said attorney Buz Eisenberg.
Yeah, this one is gonna get ugly.
In an interview with The Republican, Bryant, who is black, and his wife Veronique Bryant, who is white, both insisted that police used unnecessary force while arresting Bryant after what they described as a verbal argument in front of Buckland Pizza in Shelburne Falls. The couple, who live in Ashfield, said some customers in the pizza parlor saw the argument and called police.
“It wasn’t an assault or a battery,” said Veronique Bryant. “I was not scared. He was not touching me. We had a discussion. The police reacted in a totally inappropriate way.”
Veronique Bryant added that she did not press charges against her husband.
According to Bryant, he and his wife were in their car with their six-year-old son when state and local police arrived. They told him to get out of the car and ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets, even though they were not in his pockets, he said.
“I raised my hands over my head so they wouldn’t shoot me,” Bryant said. “They smashed my head on the car and pulled my sweatshirt hood up over my head.”
When Bryant insisted that he was not resisting arrest, an officer asked him if he wanted to be “Tasered,” he said. The couple said they were especially distraught because the incident took place in front of their son.
“One conversation would have stopped it all,” Bryant said.
With the pretrial conference set for April 12, it looks like this will come down to which side you believe. The wife that refuses to press charges on the husband that may/may not have abused her? Or the five witnesses that all corroborate the initial story?
Either way, the race card has been played and it’s gonna get ugly.