Two police officers from Wildwood, New Jersey have been reassigned to desk duty as the city’s police department launched an investigation after a video posted online shows an officer repeatedly punching a woman on a beach. The video of the Saturday afternoon encounter that quickly went viral shows two police officers wrestling a woman on the ground. At one point, one of the officers punched 20-year-old Emily Weinman twice on the head and wrapped his arm around her neck.
The video shows how people around Weinman call on her to “stop resisting.” Later, while on the ground, she says, “You’re not allowed to hit me like that!” Alexis Hewitt, who posted the video on Twitter, said she “was sleeping on the beach” when she suddenly woke up to all the commotion. “I can’t believe it,” she wrote.
In a Facebook post that has since been taken down from public view, Weinman said she had alcohol on the beach when officers approached her saying they suspected she was drinking underage. She claimed in the post that she passed the breathalyzer test and was walking away when the officers decided to follow her. That led her to ask whether they didn’t have anything “better to do” than to police for underage drinking. That allegedly led one of the officers to answer: “I was gonna let you go but now I’ll write you up.” Weinman said she refused to give the officer her name and he threatened to arrest her. She allegedly tripped and fell when she was walking away from the officer, who proceeded to tackle her.
Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. told the Philadelphia Inquirer the episode was a “shame” but that police would soon release body camera footage showing Weinman insulting the cops and spitting on them. “It wasn’t just that this officer decided to beat her up,” he said. “That wasn’t the case.” Weinman was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction, and being a minor in possession of alcohol, the Wildwood Police Department said on its Facebook page.