New Jersey cops who pinned a beachgoer to the ground and punched her in the head during an alcohol possession arrest will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said.
Bystander video of 20-year-old Emily Weinman’s violent May 26 encounter with two Wildwood police officers went viral. The cops approached Weinman after noticing unopened alcohol near where she was sitting on the beach with her daughter, her daughter’s father, and a friend.
Police bodycam footage showed one officer pinning Weinman to the ground, grabbing her hair and punching her in the head twice after she refused to cooperate.
The county prosecutor announced Tuesday that the officers’ actions did not warrant criminal charges.
“I recognize that the video footage has raised a lot of questions regarding the officers’ actions,” Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland said in a statement. “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,” he continued.
The Wildwood Police Department is conducting an administrative investigation of the officers’ conduct, Sutherland said.
Weinman was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting on an officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
She defended her conduct Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” saying her “attitude” on the beach did not justify the officers’ actions.
“In my eyes, I’m not a criminal,” said Weinman, who is on probation for a previous misdemeanor assault. “I’m not a bad person. ... They think that because they’re cops they can get away with it ― and that’s not the case. That’s not right at all.”