Following the shocking footage of an underage woman getting beaten that went viral earlier this week, the police department at the centre of the social media storm have released their own coverage which they say suggests the victim wasn’t as innocent as we thought.
Take that as you will but they claim the 20-year-old woman spat on one of the officers during the arrest which involved police punching the woman in the head.
The arrest happened on Saturday May 26 on a New Jersey beach, where Emily Weinman was with her family and friends for Memorial Day weekend. Emily was confronted by police for suspicion of drinking.
Emily initially released her own video footage and shared her story in a now-deleted Facebook post.
Two cops approach me on a their four wheelers and ask me and my friend how old we are, we gave them our ages. Then, we got breathalized, and it came back negative. I told them I wasn’t drinking and the alcohol was clearly closed/sealed, which the cops seen.
Despite the test coming back negative, the police stayed close. Following this, things began to get out of hand.
Emily’s footage showed the police wrestling Emily on the ground and handcuffing her. In the video you can see the police officer punching Emily in the head.
In response to the release of Emily’s footage, the Wildwood Police Department have released their own body-cam recording from the arrest.
The footage is split into three videos, and shows officers approaching Emily and her friend and confronting them for underage drinking.
The officer asks Emily to take two breathalyser tests, after which she tells them:
I know that didn’t come out positive. I didn’t take a drink of anything.
The test comes back negative, but the officer says that he will ask the women to empty their beverages out on the beach. The women argue that they have not done anything wrong, although the law in New Jersey states that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol in a public place.
The police officer tells Weinman that she is ‘not cooperating’, though she denies this, saying:
I didn’t disrespect you, I didn’t do anything to get written up, did I?
The officer tells her she is causing a scene, and after Emily refuses to tell the police her last name, the officer says:
I’m done with you… Get over here
To which Emily replied:
Don’t f*cking cuff me
The officer then says:
You’re about to get dropped
The officer walks towards Emily and she puts her hands up, when the camera turns off.
Police Chief Robert Regalbuto told NJ Advance Media that Weinman ‘forcibly struck’ the officer in the chest, causing the camera to turn off. During this blackout, the officers claim that Emily kicked one of the officers in the groin, which led to the violence first seen in Emily’s footage.
The police camera comes back to life, where we can see one of the officers grabbing Weinman’s hair and forcing her to the ground while she tries to resist. It is then that the officer punches Emily in the head.
The officers handcuff Emily and take her away while she screams that her child is witnessing the whole scene, and continues to insist that she did nothing wrong. In the final attempts to hold her own, Emily spits at the officer arresting her.
The footage ends with the officer relaying the series of events to another officer, saying:
She kicked him and I just hit her a couple times… I put her in cuffs and locked her up
NJ Advance Media explain that Weinman’s lawyer, Stephen Dicht, does not believe the footage of Emily spitting at the officers forgives the officer’s actions.
I don’t think it changes anything, I think it shows the police overreacted and used excessive force.
However, The Daily Mail report that police officials were supportive of the officer’s actions, relaying the Police Chief’s response:
From what I see on the video and only on the video, from not even talking to the officers, I think they did a decent job. I think we could have done a better job at trying to explain to her, but it didn’t appear Ms. Weinman wanted to hear what we had to say. She tried to tell us it was okay for her to possess alcohol and that doesn’t make any sense.
The officers involved are yet to complete their official interviews on the case.
If you have a story you want to tell UNILAD send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.