State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) isn’t ready to pick a side on the incident between a temporary Wildwood police officer and a 20-year-old beach-goer that has gained national attention.
“This has to go through a process. This has to be evaluated objectively by professionals and the decision that has to be made what was appropriate and what wasn’t appropriate, and that’s my answer to that,” Van Drew said. “This is a law enforcement issue that needs to be evaluated and evaluated appropriately and honestly and objectively.”
In the incident, captured on video by bystanders, a Wildwood police officer, whose name has not been released, is seen delivering what look like punches to the head of Emily Weinman. Body camera footage later released by police complicate proceedings somewhat.
In that footage, Weinman is seen with hands up as an officer approach. It’s not clear whether her posture was offensive or defensive, and at that point the officer’s body camera shuts off, a shutoff authorities say was caused by Weinman knocking off the officer’s body camera.
When the video resumes, Weinman is on the ground with officers on top of her, restraining the Philadelphia resident.
The incident hasn’t been kind to Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano, who has thus far defended officers amid a national outcry prompted by the viral video.