On May 31 an incident occurred in Carteret, New Jersey. While Police Officer Joseph Rieman, decorated USMC veteran, was on duty reports came in that an under-age teenager stole a car. The incident began as a traffic stop, but the family of the victim later declared the teen panicked and hit the gas. The 16-year-old suspect then eluded from the officer at 70 mph in a residential area, crashed the car into a utility pole where the car went on fire.
He then stepped out of the car and resisted arrest, and according to the police officer, the suspect tried to get his gun from him. Both the teenager and the officer got into a struggle where the police, later on, managed to arrest the teenager. The family of the suspect contacted the media after the incident to cry out police brutality and accused the officer of ‘beating him to pulp’. The family said that his injuries were not the cause of the crash but were all on the account of the officer’s beating. The police officer got slandered and defamed all over social media.
Unfortunately. there is no body camera footage, only a part of the incident was captured by the dashboard camera of his police vehicle. The video of the incident was requested by New Jersey 101.5 and can be seen at the end of this article.
In the picture released by the family, we can see the crashed vehicle:
The teenager, who is a minor and we therefore not publish his name, admitted he was not wearing a seat belt, but said he was not injured in the crash. Though we can see an impression in the windshield of the car.
An EMT report from the Carteret Fire Department, obtained by New Jersey 101.5 after a public records request, says the teen told responders he was the “unrestrained driver” of the single car involved in the car crash into a telephone pole and that he fled the scene. The medical records, also obtained by NJ.com, say the same.
Another witness who spoke to New Jersey 101.5 said she’d saw the police “throw him on the ground, and he was punching him and yelling at him.”
“It went on for a few minutes,” said the witness, who asked that her name not be published. “I saw the police pull him out of the car and throw him on the ground and I thought he was just going to handcuff him. I wasn’t sure what the deal was or why he was chasing him. It was dark, so I didn’t know he was getting beaten up that badly.”
In the video in this articles this statement proofs to be false, the police did not pull the suspect out of the car.
The whole case gets a political spin after the officer appears to be the brother of the Mayor of Carteret. After many people on Social Media took the stand that there might be a cover up in the making, the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which will investigate if the teenager’s civil rights may have been violated. Meanwhile, the officer had to turn in his gun and badge and is suspended without pay.
“I believe the timely release of information is important to ensure the continued public trust of Law Enforcement in New Jersey,” Mayor Reiman said. The lawyer of the teenager claimed that his client has not been charged in the incident. The teens family filed a lawsuit 10 days after the incident against the borough of Carteret and also against the Police Officer.
Officer Reiman’s Attorney Charles J. Sciarra released a statement saying, “The release of these videos, which notably the Prosecutor was resisting, demonstrates that the story initially told by the criminal perpetrator was a fraud. No hands were up, period. These videos show only a use of force necessary to suppress the unlawful resistance pursuant to the training given at the academy. Further, the significant accident after the life threatening operation of that stolen car explains all of the injuries. Enough is enough of this criminal element endangering the public, resisting arrest, and then lying about police misconduct. My client will be exonerated.”
Is the police officer sacrificed to ease the public opinion or does he needs to be charged with brutality? Especially when it is very rare for county prosecutors in New Jersey to bring charges against police officers who are accused of using excessive force.
We got the transcript of the video from nj1015.com:
The image of the teen’s face was blurred by the Prosecutor’s Office.
In the 17-minute video that shows most of the violent encounter, the teen is seen getting out his stopped car when the time stamp on the video is at 00:31:56.
About 6 seconds later, an officer shouts, “Get on the f***ing ground!” as the teen bends his knees and reaches for the ground.
Three seconds later, the officer comes into the frame of the video and gets over the teen, who is on the ground.
Two seconds after that, the cop begins swinging his fists as the teen appears to roll on the ground beneath the officer.
The audio is hard to make out over the police car siren’s wail, but shouts of “get on the f***ing ground” can be heard.
Much of the struggle is obscured because it takes place partially out of frame. But the officer appears to continue to hit the suspect after almost a minute.
At 00:33:33, another officer comes into the picture as the first officer and the teenager appear to continue their struggle. For about 13 seconds, there are shouts of “stop resisting!”
The first officer gets up and turns off the car’s siren almost three minutes after the teen first reaches the ground.
Article source: NJ1015.com