NJ town moves to fire NJ cop charged with spraying unarmed teen
WOODLYNNE — A month after pepper-spraying two young men without reason, as described by prosecutors, a borough police officer remains suspended without pay and facing criminal charges.
As reported by NJ.com, Woodlynne Mayor Joseph Chukwueke said that 31-year-old officer Ryan Dubiel will be removed from the job once civil service procedures are followed.
Dubiel, of Wenonah, has worked for nine police departments in his short career. Before the past 10 months in Woodlynne, he also worked for the Camden County Police Department and for a brief while in his hometown, before they disbanded the force in a shared services agreement.
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 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.
On June 11, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office released footage from Dubiel's body camera and a 911 call from the June 4 incident.
The 20-minute video includes profanity, as three young men are seen talking with Dubiel and his partner, before Dubiel is seen shaking his "OC" spray and then deploying it in the face of a teen who was leaning on a brick-faced front step area, holding his smart phone in both hands.
The prosecutor’s office received an Internal Affairs Complaint against Dubiel the day after it happened.
Dubiel was charged with two counts of simple assault, and state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the incident was an "appalling and completely unjustified use of force."
Grewal also said that the fact that Dubiel has worked for nine police departments "is a strong example of why we need a statewide licensing program for police officers."
After an extensive look at his employment records, The New York Times reported that at least 16 arrests made by Dubiel caused injury to the person he was apprehending.
The same New York Times report describes a now suspended Facebook account, which former peers of Dubiel's said belonged to the suspended officer. The “Duby Copperhead” account shared a picture of a Black Lives Matter march, where Camden County Police marched alongside protesters. A caption on the personal account said “I am so ashamed to have ever worked for such a disgrace of a police department.”
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