Prosecutor: Wildwood Cops in Video Will Not Be Charged
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office has finished a preliminary investigation regarding the Memorial Day Weekend beach arrest of Emily Weinman and says the officers involved will not face charges.
Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland, through a statement, says, "it was determined by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s office that the actions of the arresting officer(s) did not meet the evidentiary standards to warrant criminal charges..."
The officers, however, are not entirely off the hook as they could face disciplinary actions by the department itself. The municipality's mayor, however, has come out in defense of his officers.
Sutherland says the investigation consisted of reviewing police body cam video, viewing video from a citizen, body camera footage of the officer transporting Weinman, police vehicle video, internal affairs interviews of several independent witnesses, and the written arrest reports and summons and complaints.
The prosecutor commented,
...I recognize that the video footage has raised a lot of questions regarding the officers’ actions. 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. Ms. Weinman and her attorney are entitled to due process and they have not yet received the information that they will be entitled to as part of the legal process.
In the incident, video shows 20-year-old Emily Weinman of Philadelphia arguing with Wildwood police officers about alcohol containers and then walks away from the officers after she refused to give her last name. She's then seen turning around and putting her hands against an officer's chest. Police say she struck the officer, but some believe she was just putting her hands up in a defensive pose after the officer tells her she's "about to get dropped." The video goes on to show an officer punching Weinman at least twice in the head.
Weinman was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at/on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction and minor in possession of alcohol.
With reporting from Dan Alexander and Adam Hochron.