Gov. Murphy on ‘disturbing’ Wildwood arrest: Don’t spit on cops
WILDWOOD — Official video released Wednesday by police showing the arrest of a 20-year-old woman Saturday on the beach did little to squelch the debate about whether an officer should have punched the unruly woman.
The arrest first came to public light Sunday after a woman shared a video she took of the arrest of Emily Weinman being hit and forced to the ground while being placed under arrest.
Both videos have been shared far and wide and even Gov. Phil Murphy has offered his opinion
When asked about the incident during Thursday's "Ask the Governor," Murphy said he had not seen the video, but had heard about the incident.
"You also saw some actions by this — if you believe the video and there is no reason we shouldn't — by this woman, so the wheels of justice are turning as they should," he said.
"I'm also of the opinion that there is no reason to be spitting at a policeman. But also the other parts of that were disturbing and lets see where that takes us."
Weinman had initially been approached on suspicion of underage drinking because officers saw her near alcohol containers, but she passed a breathalyzer test. When she did not give officers her last name they threatened to arrest her.
The bodycam video released days later shows Weinman placing her hands on an officer's chest after he chases her and warns her: "You're about to get dropped."
Weinman was charged with with aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at/on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
The video has sparked heated debate on New Jersey 101.5's social media channels.
"Maybe if she had just listened to their requests for her info none of this would have happened," said MJ Yablonicky in a comment on the original story.
"Even if she wasn't underage drinking at the moment, she admits to illegally having alcohol in her possession (to top it off with a baby in her care), she's resisting and she's refusing to give the officer information. She is wrong all the way around," Michelle Morrissey said.
"Regardless of the situation, piss poor training is what led to her being bashed in the head, which looks excessive," Sean Patrick Murray added.
Others pointed out their displeasure at just how physical the arrest became.
"I agree she was being a brat and deserved to be arrested for resisting arrest and other infractions but did he need to pound her in the head repeatedly and put her in a headlock nearly coking her," asked Randy Bisking Dietrich. "I'm sorry but this is excessive force and the officer handled this very poorly."
"After watching this video and seeing the punching the cop was doing to the woman, I would have made a citizens arrest of the cop, I think he's seen one too many cop shows on TV where they get away with this crap when in real life, it's illegal," George Worthington added.
"Still no excuse to hit her like that - she was not armed," said Janice Newall Raddin Nordquist. "And honestly - 3 cops could not hand cuff her without beating her on her head??????? not acceptable!"
Still there were people defending the officer's actions.
"The cops handled this situation the best they could," said Drew Laskowski. "I'm glad to see the Mayor and Chief standing up for them."
"Why are we still talking about this she's not a victim she did not do as she was told it's called respect if she would've gave her ID none of this would've happened," said Diane Agnella Iannacone.
The incident is still under investigation by the Wildwood Police Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office. The results of those investigations could have larger ramifications for Emily Weinman. Her attorney told News 10 in Philadelphia that she is currently on probation for a simple assault charge.
According to court documents obtained by Heavy.com, Weinman was charged with burglary, simple assault, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and endangering another person in 2016. She then pleaded guilty to simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in November of last year. She was sentenced to four years probation.