Wildwood cops under scrutiny for viral video

Public Domain

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Wildwood New Jersey  Police are scrambling to save face after a ton of social media backlash that started with a video that was recorded this weekend, showing a team of cops trying to take a 20 year old girl into custody. One of the officers is seen making head strikes with his hand.

You can see the video here.

The incident happened when Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia was questioned for having alcohol on the beach. She is 20 years old. The legal drinking age in NJ is 21. The problem started when she started to walk away after passing a breath test. She admitted to making a smart remark about the police not having anything better to do. That is when Weinman said  the cop told her that “I was going to let you go but now you are under arrest.”.  She said she was backing away and tripped.

The problem is the 51 second video does not capture what happened before the physical confrontation.   The video was posted to social media and within an hour it was viral.  The police issued an official statement and reassigned the involved officers. Thier statement is as follows:

This City of Wildwood Police Department has received reports of a video on various social media sources, regarding an incident that occurred on the Wildwood beach yesterday afternoon, with our officers.

An Internal Affairs Investigation was immediately initiated into this matter and the involved officers have been reassigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of a full and thorough investigation.

Chief ( Robert)  Regalbuto stated that while he finds this video to be alarming, he does not want to rush to any judgement until having the final results of the investigation.

Emily Weinman, W/F, 20 years old of Philadelphia was charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer (2 Counts), Aggravated Assault by Spitting Bodily Fluids at/on a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction and Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

Anyone that may have been present during this altercation and has supporting video that could assist us with this investigation are strongly encouraged to contact Detective Lieutenant Kenneth Gallagher at 609-522-0222. The Cape May County Prosecutors Office, Professional Standards Unit will also be assisting in this investigation.

Part of the video shows a bystander snatch a small child away while officers were engaged in a physical confrontation.  Most of the posts and comments on the Wildwood Police  Facebook Page support the cops.  The incident comes at the start of the Memorial Day weekend and also start of the summer tourist season.  If it unknown if the officers were fully sworn officers or  if they were Class 2 with limited police power.