Home News 3 Officers Used Extreme Power in Arrest of Black Teen, U.S. Says

3 Officers Used Extreme Power in Arrest of Black Teen, U.S. Says


A gaggle of cops strategy a wood shed in a snow-covered patch of South Jersey, yelling, “Get out! Come on out!” to whoever is hiding inside as a police canine whimpers close by.

Moments later, the officers drag their quarry, a Black teenager suspected of stealing a automobile, out of the shed and throw him face down on the bottom. As they handcuff him behind his again, one officer steps on his head, pushing it into the snow.

“What did you do?” an officer asks, as a second one steps up and kicks snow within the teenager’s face. At one other level within the encounter, which was captured on police body-camera footage, a distinct officer places his foot on {the teenager}’s head.

On Friday, two present members of the Ewing Township Police Division in New Jersey and a retired lieutenant had been charged in a federal indictment with violating {the teenager}’s civil rights by utilizing unreasonable drive within the incident. All three defendants are white.

The three officers’ actions weren’t solely unwarranted, in line with the indictment, but in addition pointless as a result of different officers who had been arresting {the teenager} had the matter below management and had not requested for help.

Two of the three males charged in reference to the incident — Michael Delahanty, the retired lieutenant, and Officer Matthew Przemieniecki — withstand 10 years in jail if convicted. The third, Officer Justin Ubry, faces as much as a yr in jail.

Every of the defendants was launched on a $50,000 bond after an preliminary court docket look on Friday. They’re prohibited from leaving the nation, they usually had been ordered to give up their firearms by Monday. They’re scheduled to be arraigned on the costs subsequent week.

Eric Marcy, a lawyer for Mr. Ubry, mentioned his consumer had executed nothing mistaken.

“He’s a very good police officer, he has a very good repute in the neighborhood, and his actions don’t represent a violation of federal felony civil rights legal guidelines,” Mr. Marcy mentioned in an interview.

A lawyer for Officer Przemieniecki didn’t reply to a request for remark. Mr. Delahanty’s lawyer couldn’t instantly be reached.

The responsibility statuses of Officers Przemieniecki and Ubry couldn’t be confirmed on Friday. The township’s mayor, Bert Steinmann, and the Police Division didn’t reply to requests for remark.

However Mr. Steinmann informed NJ.com on Friday that whereas they’d remained on lively responsibility whereas federal investigators examined the matter, “clearly that’s going to alter as we speak.”

The incident that prompted the costs occurred on a frigid morning in January 2018 as officers in Ewing Township, a Trenton suburb, responded to a report of a stolen automobile.

The car had been in an accident when the officers discovered it, they usually noticed the driving force run off. A short time later, they discovered him within the shed.

In keeping with the indictment, Mr. Delahanty was the primary officer who stepped on {the teenager}’s head within the body-camera footage, which was first made public by The Trentonian. Officer Przemieniecki kicked snow into {the teenager}’s face a number of occasions, and Officer Ubry did the identical, the indictment says. Officer Przemieniecki was the second officer who stepped on {the teenager}’s head, the indictment says.

“Loosen up,” one officer will be heard saying within the video, including a rough insult to the admonition as different officers search {the teenager} — who has solely been recognized as being from Burlington, N.J. — earlier than letting him rise up. It was unclear whether or not he was injured — and if that’s the case, how severely — within the incident.

The accusations towards the officers had been first raised by Lalena Lamson, a retired Ewing Township police officer, in a whistle-blower lawsuit she filed towards the township in 2019 alleging numerous acts of wrongdoing within the division, in line with The Trentonian. The F.B.I. subsequently opened its investigation.