WATCH: New Jersey Cop Punches Man 12 Times, Sparks Investigation
Screenshot/NJ.ComUS22:00 28.02.2018Get short URL
Three officers with New Jersey’s Camden County Police Department were placed on paid leave Tuesday after video surfaced showing an officer repeatedly punching a local man in the head while two others held him down.
The incident, which took place on Thursday, was recorded by surveillance cameras belonging to the Fairview Liquor store in Camden, New Jersey.
Footage shows Edward Minguela being tackled to the ground by an officer roughly 14 seconds after officials approached him outside of the liquor store. Once Minguela landed on the ground, it took officers six seconds to pin him down before one made the decision to start punching him in the head. The officer delivering the blows even manages to knock the hat off one of the officers holding Minguela down.
”When I turned around, all I see is like a bright light and a cop pointing a gun at me,” Minguela told NJ.com. “The whole time [the officer is] screaming, ‘Stop resisting! Stop resisting!’ and I wasn’t even resisting. You can see my hand is in front of my head, I was trying to block it.”
“When I was on the ground, it felt like it was never going to stop,” he added.
Officers later took Minguela to the emergency room, where he was treated for injuries including a fractured wrist. It was at this time that he was also issued a summons for resisting arrest and obstruction.
According to Minguela, the arresting officials informed him at the hospital that he’d been apprehended because he matched a description of a person that was reported as carrying a gun in the area. He was also standing near a car that their person of interest was described as driving.
But when Minguela asked why they didn’t just search him, officers told him to stop talking, he told the outlet.
“I just don’t know what was going through their minds,” Minguela said. “I think it’s going to be hard to trust any cop now.”
Dan Keashen, the spokesperson for Camden County, called the incident “disturbing and troublesome.”
“Listen, the video, I think, speaks for itself,” Keashen told NBC10. “It’s highly disturbing. We have serious concerns for it.”
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office began to investigate the incident Monday after Minguela submitted a complaint with the department’s internal affairs division.
“This office is dedicated to the improvement of the delivery of police services and assures all citizens that complaints of police misconduct are properly and promptly addressed,” Alexandra McVeigh, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said in a statement.
Though the investigation is still ongoing, Minguela is due in court on Thursday to address the summons officers gave him.