A viral video of a Wildwood police officer repeatedly punching a male on the ground during the weekend has prompted an investigation by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, officials said Monday.
The nine-second video, shared on Twitter from another social-media source, shows the officer strike the male with both fists several times while two other uniformed personnel appear to be holding or trying to hold the male down. Several other uniformed personnel can be seen trying to keep people away.
The video, which has no sound, shows the episode occurring on the sidewalk in front of Club Amnesia in the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue. The male officer appears white and the individual on the ground has a dark complexion. The person who recorded the video added the comment: “wildwood cops out here buggin smh.”
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office posted a statement on Facebook early Monday evening saying that it is conducting a preliminary investigation of the events, which occurred Sunday between 3 and 3:30 a.m.
“The object of the preliminary investigation is to determine whether the actions of the arresting officer or officers potentially violated NJS 2C:3-7, Use of Justifiable Force to effect an arrest, or any other related criminal statutes. We are asking that any member of the general public who has video or photographic footage of the events please contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Professional Standards Unit, at 609-465-1135,” the prosecutor’s office said in the Facebook post.
Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron said in an email: “On advice from the city solicitor, I cannot comment on the incident at this time other than to say that the incident has been referred to the County Prosecutors office for investigation. I will have no further comment concerning this issue until the investigation is final.”