New Jersey cop charged with assault for pepper spraying two black men sitting on the porch of a house
- Ryan Dubiel pulled his pepper spray on a group of young men sitting on steps
- Police had been called on June 4 to complaints about trespassing and marijuana
- The young men refused to tell Dubiel their names so he pepper sprayed them
- Dubiel has been charged with assault and suspended without pay
- New Jersey’s attorney general said it was ‘appalling and completely unjustified’
A policeman in New Jersey has been charged with assault after using pepper spray on a group of young black men sitting on the porch of a house.
Ryan Dubiel, 31, pulled out his pepper spray as the men were perched on the steps and sprayed directly into their faces, saying: ‘You guys want to play games? You want to play games, huh?’
Dubiel had been called to the street in Woodlynne on June 4 after a report was made of trespassing.
He asked the group of young men their names, and some declined to tell him.
He then pepper sprayed them in the face.
Ryan Dubiel’s bodycamera shows the moment he sprayed pepper spray into the face of a young black man sitting on the steps of a house in Woodlynne, New Jersey, on June 4
‘We saw it over the internet and stuff. But we never thought it would happen to us,’ said 16-year-old James Horn, one of the youngsters.
Horn said he was hanging out with some friends last Thursday when officers approached.
A 911 call released by the Camden County Prosecutor recounts a property owner complaining about a group of teens loitering and smoking marijuana.
‘Officer walked up talking about “we have a call for marijuana,” but nobody had marijuana on them,’ the teenager said.
After about two minutes, an officer tells a young man who is sitting on the porch looking at his phone to put his hands behind his back.
The young man says he’s texting his brother.
‘My friend said he was going to call his brother and the officer said no,’ said Horn.
‘But his brother is his guardian so he said he was going to call him anyway.
‘And then the officer started pepper spraying everybody on the porch.’
Ryan Dubiel has been charged with assault for pepper spraying the two young men
One of the young men ran away, and Dubiel chased after him, spraying as he went.
A woman standing nearby is heard saying: ‘So this is what y’all do now to innocent people?’
Gurbir Grewal, the New Jersey attorney general, described the incident as ‘appalling and completely unjustified.’
The prosecutor’s office issued a statement saying the two people sprayed by Dubiel ‘were not observed physically resisting or attempting to harm others or themselves.’
Jill Mayer, acting prosecutor, said: ‘After careful review, it was clear Dubiel’s actions are not consistent with the State of New Jersey use-of-force policy.’
Ryan Dubiel is seen on June 4 responding to the report of trespassing and marijuana
The young men are seen recoiling in shock after the incident in Woodlynne on June 4
One of the young men runs away, but Dubiel chases him and is seen pepper spraying again
Dubiel has been charged with two counts of simple assault and suspended without pay.
The two victims were cited for underage tobacco violations.
It has also emerged that Dubiel has worked for nine police departments – leading Grewal to demand a licensing system for all officers.
‘Just as we license doctors, nurses, and lawyers, we must ensure that all officers meet baseline standards of professionalism,’ he said.
Woodlynne Councilman Clyde Cook said Dubiel has been investigated for misconduct before.
‘I question once again, our mayor, why would you put an officer, or allow an officer to be on the street, knowing he has two strikes against him against the general public?’ he said.