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May 18, 2012
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Hearings for NJ cop who was 'stopping excessive force'

Bogota Officer Regina Tasca was suspended from duty after stepping in

By PoliceOne Staff

BOGOTA, N.J. — Disciplinary hearings continued Thursday for a Bogota officer suspended from duty for allegedly interfering with an arrest.

Officer Regina Tasca said she was preventing “excessive use of force" by stepping in when Ridgefield Park police tackled and punched an emotionally disturbed man in April last year in an effort to subdue him.

Kyle Sharp's parents had called authorities for help getting him to the hospital.

Video  from Tasca’s dash cam has been at the center of the case, with Thursday’s proceedings focusing on how Capt. James Sepp, head of internal affairs, handled interviews with Sharp’s parents, NJ.com reported

Tasca's attorney, Catherine Elston, asked Sepp if he overstepped bounds when he told Sharp's mother he thought Ridgefield Park police had acted appropriately before an investigation was finished.

"She asked me if I felt that was right, and I agreed with them," Sepp said. "I didn't feel that this was a case of excessive force."

Ridgefield Park Sergeant Chris Thibault previously testified that Sharp posed a danger to the public and himself, but Sharp’s parents – who initially called police about his erratic behavior – disagreed.

Sepp interviewed them several times over the course of his investigation, and Elston argued he treated their accounts with skepticism, playing up minor inconsistencies.

The couple was "emotional" and "confused" during the confrontation, according to Sepp, who said Ken Sharp’s recollection of events differed from what was seen in the video.

Hearings are expected to stretch into June.






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