Is this police investigation even newsworthy? (Opinion)
Coverage of a Saturday Night announcement from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s office seems to me pandering and unnecessary. An investigation has been launched into the death of a 51-year-old man while in police custody.
According to NorthJersey.com, authorities say the man was found to have narcotics in his car during a traffic stop. He was placed under arrest and put into the back of a patrol vehicle when he had a yet to be determined medical event, police say. The trooper involved rendered medical aid along with paramedics and the man was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead according to authorities.
“Here, according to the preliminary investigation, there was no use of force by the arresting trooper or any responding troopers; rather, the Attorney General’s Office is conducting this investigation because the decedent died while in law enforcement custody," read part of the statement from the AG’s office.
Now maybe this is all necessary under the law, issuing public statements about such matters. I’m no lawyer and I don’t run in these circles obviously. But it bothers me that news media had to even pick up on this so-far non-story at all. If it is indeed routine to investigate such a matter, and there’s no indication or accusation whatsoever of any force, and there were allegedly narcotics discovered in the guy’s car, doesn’t this sound like the possibility of an overdose or reaction that will take weeks to show itself in toxicology reports?
The moment (should it ever come) that any wrongdoing presents itself, then of course it’s a news story. At a time when all good cops have been placed under a microscope and are being treated like suspects over the bad actions of a few rogue officers, it seems this is fanning flames. This is also how rumors on the street get started. This feels, so far, like a nothing story some in media hope is something.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.