Police Have Launched An Investigation After Disturbing Footage Of A Woman's Arrest On A Beach Went Viral
The officers involved have been placed on administrative duty.
The officers who were involved in the arrest of 20-year-old Emily Weinman on a New Jersey beach Saturday afternoon are now on administrative duty amid an internal affairs investigation that the department says will be "full and thorough."
The announcement of an investigation, made by the Wildwood police department on Sunday night, follows footage of a disturbing arrest on a beach that went viral. In the video, an officer appears to punch a 20-year-old beachgoer twice.
The Professional Standards Unit of the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office will assist with the investigation.
Weinman, a 20-year-old from Philadelphia, the department said, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at/on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
A phone number listed to Weinman was disconnected Monday morning. She did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment via Facebook.
The Wildwood police chief said that he found the footage "alarming."
"Chief 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," the statement read.
An officer appears to punch Weinman in the head twice in the footage.
Beachgoers shouted "stop resisting," as the incident occurred. Another officer is also seen in the footage helping subdue Weinman.
The Mayor of Wildwood Ernie Troiano Jr. called what happened a “shame" in an interview with Philly.com. He told the outlet that body camera footage, to be released soon by authorities, shows the 20-year-old spitting on and insulting the officers.
“It wasn’t just that this officer decided to beat her up,” Troiano said. “That wasn’t the case.”
Emily Weinman posted the footage, which went viral on Twitter, to Facebook and addressed the incident in a post that has since been removed.
The 20-year-old claimed that she and her friend were approached by two officers while on the beach. The officers approached and asked them their ages, she said.
Weinman was also there with her daughter, and her daughter's father.
After being given a breathalyzer test, she said in the post, she asked the officers if they didn't have "something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach."
She claimed in the post that the police officer wanted to issue her a citation and asked for her name, and said she didn't give it.
At that point, Weinman claimed, the officer said he was arresting her. Weinman said that she tripped while backing away from the police officer.
“The cop tackled me to the ground and smashed my head into the sand," the post read. "At that point I blacked out and fought any way possible trying to get up and push him off me."
"Thats when he head locked me me [sic] by his arm around my neck, punched on me in my head and then he head locked me again but this time choking me, I was gasping for [air]. Yes, i know I should’ve gave him my name.. I was partly wrong in a way but I was scared," she wrote.
The Wildwood police department is asking those with "supporting video" of the incident to contact them.
A spokesperson for the Wildwood police department told BuzzFeed News on Monday morning that they had no additional comment.