Police body-cam videos show violent arrest of woman at Wildwood beach: 'That's it. You're about to get dropped,' officer says
"Get off of me, what are you doing, you're choking me," Emily Weinman can be heard screaming. "They're choking me. I cannot breathe."
Wildwood police released three redacted body-cam videos Wednesday night of the Memorial Day weekend encounter with a 20-year-old woman on the beach that shows her cursing and insulting police, and one officer, in turn, losing his patience when the woman walked away from him and telling her, "That's it. I'm done with you. You're about to get dropped."
"She tried kicking at us, so I slammed her on the ground," the officer later tells his supervisor, after the woman has been tackled, handcuffed, and shoved into the back of a police car. "She kicked him. And then I just, I just hit her a couple times, and I put her in cuffs."
Police Chief Robert Regalbuto said in a news release that the officer had turned his camera on and off during the encounter. The release said that at the end of the second video, the woman struck the officer in the torso, causing the camera to shut off. The camera was reactivated during the struggle with the woman seen in the third video.
The officers were identified as Class II patrolmen Thomas Cannon, John Hillman, and Robert Jordan. The matter is still under investigation, the chief said.
The three videos show a steady escalation of the encounter with the police officers that begins when they see alcohol. The woman, Emily Weinman, 20, tells them it belongs to her aunt, and immediately questions, using profanity, the officer's right to question her or get her last name.
In the next video, the officer has Weinman by the hair and is on top of her on the sand.
"Get off of me. What are you doing? You're choking me," she is screaming. "They're choking me. I cannot breathe."
"I'm not choking her," the officer says.
After a bit more struggle, the officer shouts, "That's it," and the woman's screaming increases, as bystanders can be heard saying "Whoa, whoa."
The two punches seen in a video that went viral earlier this week are not clearly visible from the officer's body camera, but the moment of the woman's most extreme distress can be seen.
"You're not allowed to beat me like that!" she yells. "I'm a woman! You're not allowed to hit me like that and choke me like that. I didn't do anything wrong."
At one point, the officer says, "Back up! Back the f— up!"
At the end of the third video released by Wildwood police, the officer tells a supervisor the woman had Twisted Teas and had refused to give her name.
"She wouldn't give me her last name," the officer said. "She started walking away from me. I tried grabbing at her. She tried kicking at us, so I slammed her on the ground. She kicked him. I hit her a couple times. I put her in cuffs and locked her up."
On the video, the woman is seen arguing with the officers, who approached her after seeing alcohol nearby. She insults the officers and tells them they're wasting their time. The first video shows police asking Weinman to blow into a Breathalyzer, and asking if she's underage.
"You're allowed to carry alcohol even if you're underage," she tells them. "It's not open."
When the woman refuses to give her last name, the officer loses his patience.
A male bystander can be heard after saying, "You punched her in the face, though."
The officer responds, "Yeah, well, she tried kicking us. So. That's it."
Weinman's lawyer, Stephen Dicht, said after viewing the body-cam videos, "I don't think it puts the police in a good light. I still think they overreacted and used excessive force."
Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said Wednesday that when he viewed the body-cam video, it was much different from what was seen in the other video posted online.
"This young lady attacked our officer," Troiano said. "She pushed him so hard, it knocked the camera off."
In his opinion, he said, the officer did not punch the woman in the head. He said the officer had used a "chopping" technique to the woman's shoulder blades as he was trying to subdue her. The second time, Troiano said, the woman moved her head in a direction of the officer's hand.
Weinman's lawyer said that in viewing the video, he did not see Weinman striking the officer and said it appeared that the officer was the one who escalated the incident.
"At one point, he says, 'You're causing a scene.' I think he caused the scene, not her," Dicht said.
Staff writer Barbara Boyer contributed to this article