Wildwood Police release body cam footage of viral beach arrest

Rachel Kurland
May 30, 2018 - 6:30 pm
 An investigation is underway after video shows a New Jersey police officer striking a woman several times during a beach arrest.

Alexis Hewitt/Twitter

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WILDWOOD, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The Wildwood Police Department released body camera footage of the controversial beach arrest that went viral during Memorial Day weekend.

The initial viral video, taken by a bystander, which has been viewed more than 6 million times, shows one officer punching 20-year-old Philadelphia resident Emily Weinman in the head at least twice while another secures her legs.

Police said they caught Weinman drinking underage. When they asked for her ID and last name, police said she kicked a cop in the groin. 

During the arrest, three body cam videos totalling about nine minutes of footage show Weinman screaming in her defense — "I didn't do anything!" and "They're choking me!" — as well as shouting profanities at officers. She is shown spitting at one officer's face.

In the first video, an officer asks Weinman about alcohol she had with her. She takes a breathalizer and maintained that the drinks, in closed containers, belonged to her aunt. The officer asks two more times for Weinman to blow into the test, and she becomes visibly and verbally agitated and walks away.

The body cam cuts out, and in the second video, the officer asks for her last name in and she refuses. At one point she says, "You're not gonna lock me up. I didn't disrespect you." It ends with the officer looking to handcuff Weinman, but it looks like she shoves him. 

"OK that's it I'm done with you," says one officer before the violent arrest, shown in the third clip. "You're about to get dropped."

This third video is the officer's perspective of the incident in the cell phone video that went viral — the "physical confrontation," as Wildwood Police put it. The officer is shown taking Weinman down. She moves around a lot, then he throws punches.

"You're not allowed to beat me like that," she shouts. "I'm a woman, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, you're not allowed to hit me like that."

At the end of it, the officer who threw the punches explained what happened to his colleagues. 

"She tried walking away from me. I tried grabbing her. She tried kicking at us, so I slammed her on the ground. She kicked him, and then I just hit her a few times and I put her in cuffs," he said.

Weinman's attorney, in a statement, said the video shows the officers overreacting to a situation that "had no elements of violence." This entire incident is still under investigation. In the meantime, Weinman is facing several charges including aggravated assault. 

Two officers were reassigned to administrative duty Tuesday following the incident. 

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KYW Newsradio's Tim Jimenez contributed to this report.