Lawyer In NJ State Trooper Case Disputes Charges [AUDIO]
The attorney for a State Police Sgt. accused of using unreasonable force, when he beat a robbery suspect who turned out to be a mentally disabled man, says the state flip-flopped when it found the Sgt. did cross the line while arresting the suspect 3 years ago in Warren County.
During a news conference in Clifton, attorney Charles Sciarra said two investigations found Sgt. Richard Wambold did nothing wrong while arresting James Bayliss because Bayliss was out-of-control, so it makes no sense he's now been charged administratively by the State Police for using unreasonable force.
He says, "The idea that we've bestowed victim-hood upon someone who was intoxicated, belligerent and violent in this situation I think is really unfortunate…tTe Warren County Prosecutors office, after a thorough investigation, concluded there was not an unjustified use of force in this matter. It wasn't a violation and they kicked it back for further review to to anybody else, but you can't be a little pregnant."
Sciarra stresses a separate independent law enforcement agency found that this was a justified use of force under the circumstances.
He says, "The professionals, who investigated the case, concluded there was not an inappropriate use of force in relation to that matter- and a lot of what transpired. As the investigators said, Bayliss's own actions may have contributed to those events…The Attorney General has for two years been representing my client in the lawsuit brought by the Bayliss family - they don't do this frequently …Often they ship it out to another firm…But now we've reached a tipping point where a trooper's career is compromised at the drop of a hat- as people run for cover like cockroaches do when the lights come on - and it's going to stop."
Sciarra adds what his client did was completely legal and appropriate, and we need to remember an important fact.
"It's ugly out there - there are drunks, there are thieves - there are robbers- it's ugly, and if on those marginal facts we're going to turn around and crucify somebody, cops aren't going to do their job and the whole thing is going to break down."