Police release bodycam footage of woman being punched by officers on a New Jersey beach
Wildwood Police Department have responded to the shocking footage of an underage woman being beaten by a police officer that went viral this week on Twitter.
Emily Weinman was arrested on Saturday, May 26 on a New Jersey each where she had been spending time with her family and friends for Memorial Day weekend. She was confronted by police on suspicion of drinking, something she actively denied.
"Two cops approach me on 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," Emily said.
Despite the fact that the tests came back negative, police still remained close to the group and asked them to pour their sealed drinks into the sand. Following this, things swiftly got out of hand.
However, in an attempt to try and shed light on the situation that has seen the police force widely criticised online, Wildwood Police Department have released the body cam footage from the day.
In the original footage posted online, all we saw was the police punching Emily twice in the back of the head before handcuffing her. However, the police footage shows the full story - although the footage does cut out at some rather interesting points.
The officer in question asks Emily to take two breathalyser tests, after which she asserts: "I know that didn’t come out positive. I didn’t take a drink of anything."
As she claims, the test comes back negative, but the officer still asks Emily and her friend to empty their drinks. The women argue they have done nothing wrong and after being told that they are "not cooperating," Emily says: "I didn't disrespect you, I didn't do anything to get written up, did I?"
The officer then tells Emily that she's causing a scene and asks for her last name, saying: "I'm done with you... Get over here."
However, Emily backs off, saying: "Don't f**king cuff me." This doesn't go down well with the officer who informs her: "You're about to get dropped."
The officer walks towards Emily, who raises her hands and the camera cuts off. Police Chief Robert Regalbuto told NJ Advance Media that Weinman ‘forcibly struck’ the officer in the chest and kicked one of the other officers in the groin during the blackout.
However, when the camera comes back to life, the officers can be seen grabbing Weinman's hair and forcing her to the ground by punching her in the head. Take a look at their footage below:
The officers then handcuff Emily before leading her off to the waiting cars. In one final attempt to get one over them, Emily can be seen spitting in the direction of the police.
Despite the officers using excessive force and striking Emily, the Police Chief was supportive of his policemen.
"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 police footage undoubtedly sheds a bit more light on the situation, but it's still unclear exactly what happened. The camera blackout seems like it's time a bit too perfect in order to fit the police story. Even if Emily did strike the officers, it doesn't vindicate punching her in the back of the head twice.