Shame on ‘Nazi Jersey’ — Wildwood mayor inundated with hate mail
WILDWOOD – In the days after millions watched video of a police officer punching a woman in the head, Mayor Ernie Troiano received dozens of emails. Just five expressed support for him or the cops.
The emails came from across New Jersey and as far away as Florida, Wisconsin and South Dakota in response to the beach arrest of Emily Weinman on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
The seasonal officers had approached the 20-year-old Philadelphia mother on suspicion of drinking because they had seen unopened bottles of alcohol. But Weinman passed two breathalyzer tests.
The situation escalated after Weinman declined to provide her name and ended with an officer tackling her to the ground and punching her at least twice in the head – a scene recorded by a bystander.
The letter writers were as dismayed by seeing the cops taking down a woman — who officials later acknowledged had been facing no charges — as they were bothered by the mayor’s unwavering and immediate support for the officers.
Some of the letters were from people who had spent decades vacationing in this shore town, but no longer would.
A retired police training official and a former federal prosecutor wrote in to say that the officers had used excessive force.
Most were passionate but respectful.
Some compared the police’s actions and mayor’s statements to those of authoritarian regimes and Nazis.
“Please be assured that I will never patronize your town if this is how you treat visitors,” one person writes. “Is this the America in which our soldiers gave their all for freedom?”
Others were not as tactful.
“What kind of p***y f****t hits a woman?” one asks.
“Are you that much of a f***ing little c**t to defend an officer pounding a 120 pound girl??” another says.
The letters reviewed by New Jersey 101.5 were submitted before the city released bodycam footage of what preceded the arrest.
Although the footage appears to show Weinman shoving an officer who had threatened that she was “about to get dropped,” the video did little to quell the national debate over how police handled the incident.
Troiano last week said he received many calls from people who said they were canceling their vacation plans but he claimed that he was able to convince them otherwise. In a radio interview on WPG, he compared Weinman to a toddler and said “she was a combatant more than a woman.”
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office this week said that the three officers involved would not be charged with any crime.
Weinman, on the other hand, has been charged with 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.
Below are excerpts from some of the letters. Even though the emails are public records, we are omitting names because the writers may not have known their correspondence with the mayor would become public.
June 1 – New York: "My family and I had planned to come to Wildwood in July for vacation. However, after the police incident with Emily Weinman, I will be cancelling that trip. I am both disgusted and disturbed by the harassment by the police in your city."
May 27: "All he had to do was sit on her with the other officers there to subdue her."
May 28: "I’m lending my voice to the thousands that have already expressed their disgust. This is not he America we fought for."
May 28: "As a resident and TAXPAYER of Cape May County, I am appalled and extremely disappointed at the brutish and unprofessional way the 2 Wildwood police officers handled the siauation on the beach on Saturday which has become an EMBARRASSMENT for our area all over the country."
May 28: "We do not live in a Police State ... simply handcuffing her and arresting her for resisting etc would have been sufficient."
May 28: "We have canceled our 2018 vacation to Wildwood NJ de to the police brutality and the seasonal officers' SS type brutal attack of the 20 year old female.:
May 28: "I am outraged at seeing how your police officers brutalized and kicked the young woman on the beach Saturday."
May 28: "Personally, I don’t give a damn what your in house lawyers are telling you but a uniformed cop wrestling in the sand with a bikini clad teenager is pretty God damn ridiculous and insulting to those who daily put their lives on the line and serve with integrity!"
May 28: "All it will take is for one citizen (our citizen brotherhood) to step in and protect our children and the day of police brutality will end. It will not be pretty but we will win. I dread that day for your, but I am afraid it is coming faster than you can imagine."
May 28: "These goons wanted to arrest that woman. They didn’t like her attitude. They didn’t believe her even after she took a breath test which registered zero, after which it WAS TIME TO MOVE ON. The badge is only a symbol of authority. It's not a shield from citizen rights. Its not a hammer to beat people with. Police want respect they have to earn it."
May 28: "Your police department is a disgrace to he police force through the United States."
May 28: "Until the officers involved are fired and charged with their crimes, I will not be returning to Wildwood again."
May 28: "I am appalled … it was so over the top that I am sick to my stomach."
May 28: "You were very foolish to go on national television and say the things you did before an independent investigation determined what happened."
May 28: "You think your rent a cops were in the right on this one ???? Holy s*** you are a f***ing tone deaf moron."
May 28: "That type of police brutality has not place in this country – that type of sick abuse of a citizen is like something you might see in a dictatorship."
May 28: "Too many laws, too many cops, too much government. Nazi Jersey."
May 29: "What a disservice this officer did to every officer across the country who wears a uniform."
May 29: "Why on earth would I choose to go to a beach where law enforcement officers, despite full knowledge that they are being filed by multiple sources, feel comfortable inflicting potentially fatal head trauma over a violation of what, a liquor ordinance?
May 29: "She was already subdued. What purpose did it serve? Obviously the officer was just angry and asserting his power over her. He should be fired and charged with assault. Three officers there, all larger than her, and it all started because she was 1 year short of legal drinking age. Come on!"
May 29: "Your comments yesterday imply that if a woman spits at a man the man is justified in punching that woman violently in the head numerous times with full force … That is shameful.
May 29: "You should be ashamed. You are not nationally infamous for being on the wrong side of the fight and votors and donors will respond accordingly."
May 29: "I’m sure any red blooded American man seeing this video would wish he was there to kick this pig in the face with steel toed boots, and scream “STOP RESISTING ! STOP RESISTING! YOU F**!”
May 29: "Next round you should apply to be major in Kabul, I am sure you will feel more in your habitat there.”
May 29: "You people are the joke of the country … Hope your thug cops get what they deserve."
May 29: "You don’t want to be the guy who says it’s OK for men to punch a girl. … Come on, Ernie, get your act together."
May 29: "Yeah beat up the visitors. I’m sure that little girl would have hurt that fat cop. Wow."
May 29: "This year as we were getting invaded by the total disrespectful teens, then Calvary came in ... All us neighbors on 26th street want to commend the police department on how good of a job they did!! ... These kids are pigs!!!
May 29: "Fighting decades of 'teen party city' isn’t easy but stay the course."
May 29: "Underage drinking does not warrant reputedly punching a young woman in sight of her child."
May 29: "What does the female being on probation have to do with her being punched in the face by an out of control officer? Seems like you are just trying to protect that thin blue line."
May 29: "Their lives were not at stake and they actually put the safely of a child at risk."
May 29: "If they cannot take a remark from a young mother they do not have the temperament to be a police officer.
May 29: "The entire police force should hang their heads in shame."
May 29: "I have never sent an email like this. I was deeply disturbed that several officers could not handle a young 20 year old woman without punching her. The video is clearly excessive force and abuse of power."
May 29: "Just resign now you POS. Your rent-a-cops beat that woman on the beach this past Memorial Day and you double-down on your ignorant comments supporting the pigs?"
May 29: "Hi I’m just writing to express extreme shock that the mayor of wildwood apparently believes in violence towards white girls and women he apparently enjoys punching white girls and women n the head for no reason …"
May 29: "Way to go, a**hole. Like the way you support a brown-shirt nazi approach to patrolling your beaches."
May 29: "This behavior, not exclusive to Wildwood, is making a police state of the US. Last I looked this was not officially a war zone nor a dictatorship (yet.)"
May 29: "Get those two animals off the force or you wont see me this year."