Video Captures New Jersey Police Breaking Protocol In Pursuing Suspect
A police incident on June 4th involving a night pursuit that lasted for six miles and ended in serious injuries for an innocent man had Mayor Steve Fulop accusing some members of the police force of technically breaking protocol during the pursuit on June 8th.
The department now faces intense criticism over video footage of the event, which evidently shows those same police officers kicking an innocent bystander as part of the pursuit; so much so that the Mayor has also announced that he intends to fire and arrest the officers seen in the video.
According to media coverage, the police engaged in a six-mile pursuit throughout Jersey City and proceeded to fire their weapons from their car at another moving vehicle, amongst engaging in various other activities that are arguably prohibited given the circumstances involved (i.e. a lack of absolutely having to in order to protect human life).
Restrictions on Police When It Comes To Pursuits
The state attorney general’s office has official guidelines in place that police are supposed to follow when they are pursuing those suspected of committing a crime. Those rules (last revised in 2009) include the following:
- Police can only pursue someone suspected of committing a first- or second-degree offense or any of the following crimes: aggravated assault, aggravated criminal sexual conduct, arson, auto theft, burglary, criminal restraint, distributing drugs, escape and manufacturing, theft by extortion, or vehicular homicide;
- Police are supposed to weigh the likelihood of successful apprehension with the degree of risk created by pursuit;
- There are a variety of circumstances under which police must end the pursuit, such as: instruction to do so by a supervisor, officers believing that the danger to the public outweighs the need for immediate arrest of the suspect, and if there is a clear and unreasonable danger to the officer or to the public;
- Police cannot fire weapons from or at moving vehicles unless it is absolutely a last resort necessary prevent imminent death or serious injury to themselves or someone else; and
- Roadblocks, too, are prohibited unless as an absolute last resort where deadly force would otherwise be justified.
Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Bergen County & Surrounding Areas
If you have been the victim of an illegal pursuit and/or search and seizure by the police and are being charged with a crime, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Any evidence illegally gathered against you—and possibly the crime itself—could be dismissed, but only if you have someone experienced working at your side.
At the law office of Phillip J. Murphy, we’ve been defending those accused of crimes—including victims of civil rights violations—for more than 25 years throughout New Jersey and New York. Contact us today for a free consultation.