Interview with witness who videotaped weekend arrest in Dover, the video showing an officer punching a suspect in the face while pinned to the ground.
William Westhoven, @WWesthoven
WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — Video of a New Jersey police officer repeatedly punching a man pinned to the ground Sunday morning has made its way through social media, eliciting anger, outrage and a protest.
In New Jersey, only certain videos are covered under the state’s Open Public Records Act, which lets residents request records from state and local offices. In August, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled that police do not have to publicly release dashcam videos tied to criminal investigations unless an officer uses deadly force.
As the state’s attorney general investigates Sunday’s arrest, the footage brings into focus New Jersey police arrests captured on video in which the use of force has sparked debate and a sea of reactions.
Suicide patient assaulted by officer
Videos obtained from the U.S. Attorney’s Office show a Paterson officer slapping a man in a hospital bed, and punching him while in a wheelchair.
Paul Wood Jr. and Keldy Ortiz, North Jersey Record
In March, cellphone videos made public in court proceedings show a suicide patient being slapped and punched by former Paterson Police Officer Ruben McAusland.
In one video, McAusland slaps the man, Andrew Casciano, so hard that blood sprays across a hospital bed. In another, McAusland is seen punching Casciano while he is in a wheelchair, in the nurse’s station.
Casciano filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city. McAusland was sentenced to 66 months in prison in March.
The videos were pieces of evidence that ultimately resulted in McAusland’s conviction on charges of drug dealing and assault. McAusland and seven Paterson officers have been arrested as part of an FBI investigation into the department.
A woman punched twice while flailing
The third video of six released by Wildwood police showing the violent arrest of a 20-year-old Philadelphia woman on the beach.
In 2018, video was released showing Wildwood police’s violent arrest of a 20-year-old woman on the beach over Memorial Day weekend.
The video, shot by a beachgoer, shows an officer punching the woman twice in the head as she lies on the sand, her legs flailing.
The beach confrontation began when the woman, Emily Weinman of Philadelphia, repeatedly refused to give officers her name when questioned about alcoholic beverages present on the beach.
The footage caused an uproar, with many claiming the officer used excessive force to arrest Weinman. The officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing after authorities reviewed the video and police body-cam footage.
Hit by metal flashlight and unreported
This unedited bystander video shows Elizabeth officers arresting Jerome Wright, who claimed in a lawsuit that police used excessive force and “fabricated” their report on the incident.
Video courtesy of Michael Orozco.
Video footage of a 2013 arrest in Elizabeth was at the center of a lawsuit filed by Jerome Wright, the man who was arrested, against the city.
Wright, who is from Philadelphia, claimed he suffered “significant injuries” to his neck and spine during the arrest, according to his attorney, and an officer admitted in testimony that he never officially reported that he hit the man with a metal flashlight.
The suit claimed officers used excessive force, including chemical spray, kicks and punches. The lawsuit also claimed that officers “fabricated” a police report to cover up their actions.
In court, Elizabeth Police Officer Rui Xavier admitted he left facts out of his arrest report, including that Wright’s hands were up in the air and that he struck Wright with a flashlight and kicked him.
The city settled the lawsuit in October 2017 for $250,000.
Man who is deaf sues police over force
Body camera footage shows Berkeley police officers arresting Heriberto Carrisquillo, who recently settled a civil suit against the township for $82,500. Footage courtesy Mallon & Tranger.
Alex N. Gecan and Ryan Ross, Asbury Park Press
In 2016, a Rutherford man who is legally deaf was arrested by police in Berkeley Township, after police responded to the home for a domestic incident.
The man, Heriberto Carrasquillo, 59, accused several Berkeley Township officers of punching and kneeing him and pushing his face into concrete after he led them to see several imitation firearms.
Carrasquillo claimed he could not understand the officers’ instructions and let police know that.
Carrasquillo ultimately filed a lawsuit against township police, claiming he was a victim of excessive force. Police denied any wrongdoing in their responses to his complaint.
Last year, the township agreed to pay $82,500 to Carrasquillo in a settlement.
A teen, a crash and the mayor’s brother accused
Officer Joseph Reiman is charged with aggravated assault and three counts of official misconduct in the alleged assault of a teen who suffered significant bodily injury during an arrest in May.
Courtesy of Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
Last week, a Carteret man testified that a local police officer repeatedly beat him after a pursuit and crash in 2017. Monte Stewart, now 18, identified the officer as Joseph Reiman in court.
Reiman, the younger brother of the town’s mayor, Dan Reiman, is now on trial after he was indicted in September 2017 for allegedly assaulting and causing injury to Stewart, who was then 16.
Reiman is accused of repeatedly hitting the teen after the boy exited the car, following a May 31, 2017, pursuit, crash and arrest.
He has been charged with aggravated assault, official misconduct, failure to activate his body camera and failing to use reasonable discretion or restraint in the amount of force used to apprehend the teen.
Suspended from the police force with pay, Reiman is also accused of including false information in his police report. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Man on fire later claims police kicked him
Raw video from a bystander shows police kicking Miguel Feliz after a car crash in Jersey City June 4, 2017.
Jersey City police allegedly kicked a West New York man, Miguel Feliz, while he burned, after a fiery car crash in 2017. Video by a bystander allegedly shows the incident.
Feliz filed a lawsuit last year against Jersey City and its police department, alleging excessive force. Four officers face criminal charges in connection with the June 4, 2017, incident.
Two of the officers were accused of assaulting Feliz. All four have pleaded not guilty.
Contributing: The Associated Press.
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