Editor’s Note: If you read the below item and think to yourself, “This stinks like yesterday’s fish wrap” you’re not alone. Check out my editorial commentary on this matter by clicking here.
By PoliceOne Staff
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Video was released on Monday of an officer-involved shooting of a 19-year-old man in New Jersey.
The release coincides with the filing of a federal lawsuit against the City of New Brunswick and Middlesex County by the attorneys representing Victor Rodriguez, according to MyCentralJersey.com.
Posting OIS video to YouTube is a disgrace
By Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief
Videotape from a static-mounted security camera shows one viewpoint of the January 31, 2012 officer-involved shooting of 19-year-old Victor Rodriguez. Of that there can be no debate.
Per standard operating procedure, the radio transmissions between New Brunswick (New Jersey) police officers and area dispatch were recorded on audio tape. Of that, too, I offer no dispute.
However, I will vehemently disagree with anyone who uses a cobbled-together YouTube video (pairing otherwise-soundless video surveillance tape and the post-critical-incident police radio traffic) to promote their own personal political agenda.
The lawsuit claims the use of excessive force by New Brunswick police officers that in turn has rendered Rodriquez a paraplegic.
The suit also says Rodriguez’s “U.S. Constitutional rights and state civil rights were violated and the officers were improperly trained and supervised in the proper use of force and techniques.”
The footage was reportedly first posted to YouTube and the NewBrunswickToday.com website by Charlie Kratovil, a local political activist also on the ballot in the upcoming City Council election. It was captured by a nearby security camera and includes audio from the police radio transmissions.
According to reports, the shooting followed an altercation between two other individuals in which Rodriquez allegedly brandished and fired a “starter’s pistol” — apparently modeled after a Beretta 9mm — while attempting to break up the skirmish.
In addition to the city and county, the complaint names the New Brunswick Police Department, Mayor Jim Cahill, Officers Andrew Weiss and Christopher Bornheimer, Police Director Anthony Caputo, the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department, and Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott as defendants.
Police Director Anthony Caputo said the clip does not show the events leading up to what was captured within the framework of the released video.