Confrontation between musicians, police on Lower Broad leads to arrests

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:09pm

Three men were arrested early Friday morning on Broadway after an altercation ensued between a musician loading out equipment and an officer attempting to cite a vehicle for alleged improper parking.

Matthew Paige was sitting in with the house band at Layla's Bluegrass Inn Thursday evening and was arrested between 2 and 2:30 a.m. for vandalism and resisting arrest.

According to the warrant written by arresting officer Jeffery Cason, Paige was attempting to load musical equipment into a vehicle that was parked in a lane of traffic.

Cason claims that while he was writing a parking citation to the driver, Paige became argumentative and confrontational and struck the hood of the patrol car twice with the equipment, leaving black marks.

"I'm carrying my stuff out, and I accidentally bump the front of his police car with my amplifier," Paige said. "[The officer] said that I did it on purpose and that it was vandalism. And then when he asked for my I.D., I asked why."

Paige's friend Jeffrey Marcom filmed parts of the incident and was also arrested. Cason wrote that Marcom was confrontational about Paige's arrest and that Cason had to physically push him away. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and possession after a search allegedly revealed marijuana and a pipe.

Gaelen Mitchell tried to intervene on the arrests and was also arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, shows officers handcuffing Paige surrounded by a small crowd when Mitchell approached, was pushed away by Cason and stumbled to the curb.

Marcom, whose voice can be heard over the video, was also pushed by another officer and is heard asking "Why did you push me?" Officers then approach him and can be heard commanding him to "let go of the camera or it will get broke [sic]."

Another officer can be heard explaining the incident. "We told them to step back, they wouldn't step back, so that's what happened."

Conflicting reports have emerged on the location of the cited vehicle. Cason and the officer heard on the video state it was parked in a lane of traffic, while some of the musicians claim it was parked in or near a Musician Loading Zone, which have been marked since 2011.

Dave Pomeroy, president of Nashville's Musicians Union said on Facebook, "I spoke with downtown Police Commander Jason Reinbold about this a couple of hours ago. He is extremely concerned about this and has immediately launched a full investigation."

The incident is expected to be reviewed by the Metro Nashville Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability.

6 Comments on this post:

By: airvols on 7/29/13 at 10:55

It's time for Metro to stop allowing cars to park on lower Broadway. With the new convention center the massive crowds have no where to walk. When you combine that with increased tourism and the usual locals enjoying downtown, it becomes apparent it's time to widen the sidewalks, or close lower Broadway on weekends. The real answer is wider sidewalks with loading and unloading zones and taxi stops at some location. Something also needs to be done about the horse and carriage vendors, they continue to stop traffic and block roads. The other thing metro needs to do is stop listing to the local business owner that wants to park in front of their business, we have grown way to big for that. REDESIGN PEDESTRIAN TRAVEL AREAS, AND WIDEN THE SIDEWALKS. It's only going to get worse and create more confrontations in that area.

By: tomba1 on 7/29/13 at 3:08

and by all means don't leave out the mayor's double-wide bike lanes !

By: budlight on 7/30/13 at 7:38

And where should people put their cars? Perhaps in their pockets? People have to load and unload, especially musicians. Entertainment is necessary to attract people downtown. The police should have given him a break; after all it was 2 in the morning. How much traffic could there be at that time?

By: joe41 on 7/31/13 at 7:21

Musicians need space to load and unload their equipment. Police need to be able to help. We are, after all, Music City.Joe

By: Rocket99 on 7/31/13 at 8:19

If the areas are marked as musician loading zones, why weren't the police ticketing and towing the offending vehicles?

There are several places people can put their cars in the downtown area and not park on Broadway. It's not that many parking spots in total. That area should only be used for loading/unloading, taxis, etc. after certain hours. any and all others ticketed and towed.

Possibly do that area in a similar manner to how Bourbon Street is handled in New Orleans. No parking on the actual street but all the cross streets are still fully accessable.

One question concerning that area is, can people use the alley ways to load/unload? Not sure if they can handle the vehicles or not.

By: pswindle on 7/31/13 at 11:51

Some cops need to be re-trained because after seeing the video they are becoming bullies.