Cops shouldn’t worry about filming if they’re doing job right
If someone in your neighborhood is in trouble, do you help or do you film? What if it were a police officer who's there to protect you? Last weekend in Newark, an 18 year old was seen jumping on a police car's hood and roof while the officer does nothing. The crowd that gathered egged the guy on. Both the officer and his backup were later suspended.
James Stewart Jr., president of FOP Lodge 12, acknowledged that the widely shared Facebook video of Altahriq Aulston jumping on the patrol cars on Saturday "looks very bad" and "paints the police department in a bad light." But after meeting with the officers, he said he understands what they did.
"I think today's climate had something to do with the way it played out," Stewart said. "The officers indicated they were aware there was a large group of people. They were aware everyone was filming it. They were aware he was being egged on. Nobody wants to be the next guy caught on videotape doing something wrong."
Stewart called Steve Trevelise on New Jersey 101.5 and added, "But that is not the reason these two officers were suspended." Stewart acknowledged that on the surface, the video looks horrendous, but the two officers were not suspended for their actions or inactions that you see on the video. There were other things that came to light as part of the initiation of the investigation directed by Anthony Ambrose. "Those things are what got the officers suspended. There's more to it is all I can say." (video above)
Regardless of what the investigation finds, based on what we saw in the video, the officer was being dissed in front of the neighborhood. Says Stewart in response '
"That's where the retraining is coming in. We need to emphasize that if you're doing your job correctly, there's nothing to be concerned about and these officers will learn that and so will the new guys going into our academy class next week. The point is if you're doing your job correctly and you document what happened, you're not going to have any issues."
Stewart ended on a very good point. "Instead of the community egging these guys on and telling them 'kick the window,' why aren't they trying to talk the guy down and help the cops that are in their community trying to make it a better place?"
Protection should go both ways.
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