VIDEO: Cop Who Repeatedly Hit Resisting Suspect Is Under Fire For Comments After

A New Jersey police officer was criticized for having made jokes about his takedown of a suspect after the fact.

Camden, NJ – A Camden County police officer has faced some backlash after police released bodycam footage in accordance with a public records request that showed him joking about a physical confrontation with a suspect (video below).

Camden County police officers responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun near the Fairview Liquor Store on Collings Road at around 8 p.m. on Feb. 22, NJ Advance Media reported.

Officers spotted Edward Minguela, who matched the description provided by the 911 caller, and did a felony stop on him at gunpoint.

Police have released bodycam footage from several officers’ cameras that showed Minguela initially put his hands up when he was ordered to do so, but when Officer Nicholas Romantino tried to take him into custody and handcuff him, Minguela was having none of it.

In the video, Minguela pulled away from the officers, and resisted arrest.

Officer Romantino took him to the ground and tried to handcuff him, but the suspect would not comply with police commands or allow himself to be subdued, the video showed.

The officer delivered a dozen blows to the man who was reported to be armed with a gun, as the officer shouted "put your hands behind your back!" repeatedly.

Finally, Officer Romantino was able to get handcuffs on Minguela, at which point the suspect began protesting being struck, the video showed.

"Why you hitting me like that bro?" Minguela asked the officer several times.

After walking Minguela over to a cruiser, Romantino patted him down. The video showed Minguela complaining to the officers as he was searched and put into a patrol vehicle.

The recent controversy surrounded a couple minutes of bodycam video that was recorded after the incident, when the suspect had already been removed for booking by a transport vehicle.

The video showed Officer Romantino and a couple other officers laughing and joking about Minguela’s takedown.

In the video, Officer Romantino was showing his bruised knuckles to another officer.

"That guy. He's always giving us a hard time, that guy,” the other officer said.

“Not anymore,” Officer Romantino joked.

One of the officers asked him if the incident got his adrenaline going.

Shortly thereafter, the video showed Officer Romantino advising the other officers that Minguela had asked to go to the hospital en route to jail.

“He’s requesting to go to the hospital after I roughed his dome up a little bit,” he said.

“Okay, we’ll go meet Sanchez at the hospital then,” the other officer replied, totally nonplussed by the suspect’s request for medical treatment.

Minguela claimed that once he got to the hospital, officers tried to manipulate him.

He said he was told by police that if he declined medical care, he’d receive a summons for resisting arrest and obstruction.

However, Minguela claimed officers said that if he sought treatment, they would tack on the more serious charge of assault and battery on a police officer, NJ Advance Media reported.

No evidence has been released to back up Minguela's claims.

Minguela said he took the police’s offer and left the hospital, but he returned the next day for treatment of a concussion and a fractured wrist.

In late April, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced that that Officer Romantino’s use of force was justified, because the video clearly showed Minguela resisting arrest.

However, Officer Romantino remains on unpaid leave while the Camden County Police Department conducts its own internal affairs investigation, NJ Advance Media reported.

Minguela’s attorney, Devin Jacob, has argued that it’s a conflict of interest for the same prosecutor’s office that’s trying to prosecute his client for resisting arrest to be in charge of investigating the use-of-force allegations against police.

You can see the bodycam of the video below:

Comments (52)
No. 1-25
Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Pause.

So did he or did he not have a gun? If not, someone should be contacting whoever made that false report.

And if he didn't have a gun, why was he being taken into custody in the first place?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

"“Okay, we’ll go meet Sanchez at the hospital then,” the other officer replied, totally nonplussed by the suspect’s request for medical treatment."

Did you mean to use "nonplussed" here? Nonplussed means confused and bothered, not unaffected like people tend to think and like i think you meant it here.

ShelbyCole
ShelbyCole

Conflict of interest for the same prosecutor’s office that’s trying to prosecute his client for resisting arrest to be in charge of investigating the use-of-force allegations against police. That will be hushed up, how else will the officer Get off scot-free?

Mrs10
Mrs10

What is glaringly missing from this slanted and obviously edited video?
The footage from the cameras of all the OTHER people milling around. There would have been several, especially after the suspect began interacting with the cops.
The fact that the video only shows that view is suspicious.

And I do not know of any municipalities where the suspect’s criminal charges and any separate use-of-force allegations are handled by different prosecutor’s offices. I may have that incorrect and if I do let me know.
But the police and DA’s offices have separate purposes, means, etc. To say that the investigation into each separate case can’t be handled by the same office is a large leap unless there has been clear evidence of collusion between the two.

John-Brown
John-Brown

You are correct ma'am. You have to remember that the statement made that there is a "conflict of interest" came from the sewer rat, bottoming feeding pond scum also known as a defense lawyer. He is obviously preparing for his turn at the ghetto lottery. His statement is complete bullshit. Here in Maryland, as in New Jersey, the SA/DA's office is completely separate from the police. It is the job of the police to charge crimes, which requires only probable cause. It is the DA's job to prosecute crimes, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The two are vastly different principles and more often than you might think the police and DA clash over these issues. In some ways, the DA's office provides a check on the police to keep them from bringing in trumped up charges that should new see the inside of a courtroom. But the DA is also an elected official, which means they often fail to do their job when they start to think too politically. My relationship with the State's Attorney's Office was excellent. Don't bring them trash arrests, write detailed reports and testify with confidence and truthfulness and they will be your friend. And I never lost a case that went to trial.