Mount Ephraim, NJ – Mount Ephraim police confronted a witness’s allegations of police bias on Tuesday, when they reposted a video she had shared of a forceful arrest.
“Things aren't always as they appear and videos sometimes show only one perspective of an event; especially when the person providing that video forgets to include very important details about what led up to it,” the department said in a Facebook post.
The incident occurred on Monday, after police received a report of a dog running at large. The caller said that the male suspect had also threatened a child during an argument about the animal, police said.
“When officers arrived to discuss the issue with the animal’s owner, they determined that multiple warnings for similar complaints had already been issued,” the department’s post explained. Consequently, the officers opted to issue a citation.
The officers soon learned that the information the man provided to them was false.
Running a records check for an alternate name, they determined he was likely subject of a criminal arrest warrant.
When they returned to the man’s home to determine the man's real identity, the man “immediately attempted to run from them,” the department said in the post.
“This is a perfect example of how something so simple, a call that these officers may have thought would be easily handled; can turn into something very different, very quickly,” the department said.
The officers were taking the man into custody when the female witness – who said she also owned the dog – began recording the incident.
“You really think this is funny?” she yelled at the officers. “Our dogs got lost. This is why you’re doing this?”
“Our dogs got outta the yard, and he told a little girl to stop,” the woman continued.
“And he lied about his name,” one of the officers pointed out.
“He did not lie about his name,” the woman retorted.
The officer told the woman that he had also attempted to run away from police when they arrived to speak with him.
“Why wouldn’t he? You guys are shooting kids on the f*****g street for f*****g nothing!” she argued.
The officer explained to the man that his name came back “not on file.”
“I came back to ask you, and you ran away from me,” the officer said.
“Ya’ll gonna have to carry me, bro,” the man said, as he refused to walk down a set of stairs leading off of the porch area. “I’m not walking. No – listen, you’re not taking me nowhere.”
The officers eased the man down the steps, as he pushed backwards, and attempted to plant his feet.
“Why do you need to know who I am?” he yelled at the officers. “What the f**k are you talking about?”
“This is over a f*****g dog!” the woman yelled repeatedly, while the officers continued to navigate the man across the yard towards a patrol vehicle.
“I told a little white girl not to talk to me that way, and this is what you do,” the man told the officers at one point.
As the officers neared the patrol vehicle, the male tensed further, and threw his left elbow into one of the officers, which sent a portion of his radio flying off of his shoulder.
“Get the f**k off me!” the man yelled at the officers. “I swear to God, you’re gonna have a case on you, bro. Call my lawyer.”
“At one point in the video, you can even see one of the officers take an elbow to the face, yet he still remains calm and composed utilizing only the force needed to maintain control of the arrestee,” the department said.
The officers began to frisk the suspect, he became more agitated, the video showed.
“Relax. I’m trying to tell you to relax,” the officer told him. “What are you reaching for?”
“I’m not reaching for nothing,” the man said, as he turned and pulled away from the officers.
“Yo – he ain’t reaching for s**t!” the woman interjected again, standing just inches from the officers. “Knock it the f**k off!”
Another officer arrived at the scene, and told the woman to back away.
“Don’t f*****g touch me!” she screamed at him.
The officers then lowered the man to the ground, where he suddenly began to yell.
“Ow! Ow!” he wailed. “Help me please!”
The woman suddenly reached down, and grabbed a black pack that had fallen to the ground as the officers struggled with the man.
An officer quickly intervened, and took the bag away.
“Yo – Are you f*****g serious?” she yelled, as the officers again ordered her to back away. “Get the f**k off me. Don’t f*****g touch me! Get the f**k out my face!”
She continued to argue with the officer, and again stepped closer towards the area.
“And this is what’s happening in America right now, over f*****g dogs, ” the woman said in the video. “You’re arresting him because he’s black.”
The unnamed male was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and hindering apprehension, police said.
"The officers made every attempt to de-escalate the situation and attend to their responsibilities using the least amount of force possible," the department’s post read. "...and once the whole story is known, that becomes far more obvious when viewing the video."
You can watch footage of the scene in the video below: