NJ cop — 31 and on his 9th job — charged with unprovoked attack
WOODLYNNE — A borough police officer is facing charges for pepper spraying two people "without provocation," according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ryan Dubiel faces two counts of simple assault. At 31 years old, the Wenonah resident has already worked for nine different police departments.
Authorities have not said why the young officer has changed departments so many times but this fact led the state's attorney general to hold up the suspended officer as an example for the need to license police officers and weed out bad cops.
The police licensing proposal was unveiled last week by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as part of a series of policies aimed at accountability and transparency in law enforcement agencies.
While the policies had been in development for months, they were released following a national uproar sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.
The video of Dubiel provides another recorded example of a white police officer violently confronting a black person.
The video of the June 4 incident was posted to YouTube by Robert Baum. It shows a young man sitting when Dubiel deploys the "OC" spray into his face.
A second video posted online by Baum, shows the teen being doused with water from a neighbor's hose as two officers hold his arms.
Another young man then tells the person recording the video that Dubiel and another officer had come up to them while they were sitting on a stoop and said they should come closer. The man said when they did, the officer sprayed the teens.
As reported by NJPen, Woodlynne Mayor Joseph Chukwueke said the officer’s actions appeared to be "unprovoked."
Prosecutors said they consulted with Grewal, who called the action an "appalling and completely unjustified use of force."
Grewal also said that the fact that Dubiel has worked for nine different police departments "is a strong example of why we need a statewide licensing program for police officers."
"Just as we license doctors, nurses, and lawyers, we must ensure that all officers meet baseline standards of professionalism, and that officers who fail to meet those standards cannot be passed from one police department to another while posing a threat to the public and other officers," he said in a written statement.
Grewal said he would strongly support the licensing proposal when it is presented later this month to the Police Training Commission.
Dubiel’s body-worn camera footage will be made available Thursday after the images of underage people are redacted, according to prosecutors.
Dubiel has been with the Woodlynne Police Department for 10 months. He remains suspended without pay.
Dubiel worked as an officer in Edgewater Park, Galloway, Seaside Heights and Union City before joining the Camden County Police Department in March 2013.
Dubiel was hired in his hometown in January 2018 as a patrolman for the Wenonah Police Department. Three months later, the Borough Council voted to shut down its force and use police in neighboring Mantua.
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