New Jersey cop charged after bodycam footage shows him using pepper spray on young black men
A New Jersey police officer was charged with assault after bodycam footage showed that the man was allegedly wrongly using pepper spray on a group of young black men.
31-year-old Ryan Dubiel directed pepper spray against people who responded to an unauthorized call, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
The policeman and some of his colleagues were called into a house on June 4 by a nearby owner who believed that a group of people sitting on the front steps of a house had entered the house.
When the officers answered the call, they asked the young black men on the front porch of the house for their names, many of whom declined to do so. Dubiel then asked a teenager who was looking at his cell phone on the porch to put his hands behind his head, but he said he would text his brother.
This then prompted Dubiel to spray the young man with pepper spray before spraying other people on the porch. Bodycam footage also showed the officer chasing another person while spraying the irritant.
The bodycam material that shows the incident was worn by Dubiel, the prosecutors said.
The office added that the people sprayed by the officer "were not watched as they physically opposed or attempted to harm others or themselves".
Dubiel was charged with two attacks after the prosecutor's office checked the footage by spraying a teenager and his 20-year-old friend.
Prosecutor General Gurbir Grewal announced that Dubiel had been in the department for 10 months and had previously worked in nine other police stations.
The attorney general said Dubiel had previously been exposed to misconduct in his other departments, demonstrating why a nationwide police licensing program was necessary.
"Just like we license doctors, nurses and lawyers, we need to make sure that all officials meet the basic standards of professionalism," said Grewal in a statement. "Officers who do not meet these standards cannot be passed from one police station to another while posing a threat to the public and other officers."
Dubiel is now suspended without payment from the Woodlynne Police Department.
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