NJ Politics Digest: Prosecutor Won’t Charge Cop Who Beat Woman on Beach

Cop Punches Woman on Beach Video
Screenshot. YouTube

Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland knows that video of a woman being punched in the head by police on a beach in Wildwood over Memorial Day weekend looks bad.

But, he says, it wasn’t against the law.

“As county prosecutor, I recognize that the video footage has raised a lot of questions regarding the officers’ actions,” Sutherland said in a news release, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A decision such as this is not based on emotion; it is based upon applying the proper laws, policies and directives that govern law enforcement.”

“Members of the public should understand that no matter what your opinion is regarding the subject event, it is not based on a full review of the evidence,” the prosecutor cautioned.

Sutherland said his office reviewed police body-camera footage, video taken by beach-goers, police vehicle video, arrest and internal affairs reports and other police documents when deciding whether or not to charge the police officers involved in the fracas, according to the Inquirer.

Instead, Sutherland said, the incident will now be handled internally by the police department’s own internal affairs department, “with monitoring by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit,” according to the Inquirer report.

Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano has vigorously defended the three Class II Patrolmen—Thomas Cannon, John Hillman and Robert Jordan—while attacking 20-year-old Emily Weinman, of Philadelphia, who faces multiple charges after the arrest, including aggravated assault on a police officer and spitting at a police officer.

Weinman’s attorney told the Inquirer he wasn’t surprised the prosecutor would not charge the police officers.

Quote of the Day: “It’s ironic, the officer who said ‘You’re about to get dropped’ isn’t charged. The one who beat her on the head wasn’t charged. The only person charged is the one who was dropped and beaten on the head.” — Attorney Stephen Dicht, on Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland’s decision not to charge a Wildwood police officer shown on video punching a woman in the head during a Memorial Day incident on the beach.

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