Sununu says state ‘looking into’ arrest of black NH man that went viral

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Image from video: Arm of a NH State Trooper slips through cracks in Jean Ronald Saint Preux’s car window. Preux has “felt like I was going to be another statistic” and pulled over outside Albany Town Hall where he knew there were cameras.

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Gov. Chris Sununu says the state is “looking into” an arrest last week that was streamed live by a black New Hampshire man during his encounter with NH State Police, and circulated widely on social media.

The video shows 34-year old Jean Ronald Saint Preux, an African-American man, being arrested by two New Hampshire state troopers and pulled out of his car after allegedly resisting arrest.

The video has been viewed over 400,000 times on social media.

Saint Preux claims that on May 20, troopers passed him while he was driving in Albany and then pulled him over. He claims there were no grounds for the traffic stop, and that he was mistreated because of his race.

Saint Preux was originally charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and disobeying a police officer. On Friday, he was also charged with a motor vehicle inspection sticker violation. He said his car was inspected in Maine but has New Hampshire license plates.

Sununu responded to the incident at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“The Attorney General’s office has been on top of it, working very closely with both state and local law enforcement,” Sununu said. “As far as I know, no complaints have been filed, but we’re going to stay on top of it.”

A spokesman for Gov. Sununu later clarified that the “Division of State Police is reviewing all facets of the incident to determine if there were any violations of policies or protocols,” and that the Attorney General was conducting a review as well.

The video shows one officer who does not appear to be wearing a proper face mask or gloves handling Saint Preux.

When asked about this, Sununu said there is PPE protocol for state police but was not sure of the details. The New Hampshire Department of Safety did not respond to questions from NHPR about PPE protocol or to a request for the police report.

In a statement to NHPR, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said that it “will conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the May 20, 2020 arrest of Mr. Jean Saint Preux to ensure that the conduct of New Hampshire State Troopers Margaret Ready and Hawley Rae conformed with the law.”

A spokesman for Gov. Sununu later explained that the “Division of State Police is reviewing all facets of the incident to determine if there were any violations of policies or protocols,” and that the Attorney General was conducting a review as well.


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