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June 05, 2018

No charges against officers in controversial Wildwood beach arrest

Emily Weinman's arrest captured in viral video, sparks debate over police's actions

Police Jersey Shore
Wildwood violent arrest Wildwood Police Department/for PhillyVoice

Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia, was arrested on the East Schellinger Avenue beach in Wildwood.

Prosecutors will not file charges against the police officers who arrested a woman on the beach last month, an incident that sparked controversy after it was captured on video and published to social media.

Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland announced Tuesday that – after reviewing police body camera footage, the video taken by a beachgoer, witness interviews and other evidence — his office has determined there isn't reason to charge the officers with unnecessary use of force or related crimes.

"As County Prosecutor, I recognize that the video footage has raised a lot of questions regarding the officers’ actions," Sutherland said in a press release. "A decision such as this is not based on emotion; it is based upon applying the proper laws, policies and directives that govern law enforcement."

Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia, was arrested on the East Schellinger Avenue beach on Saturday, May 26. She was approached by two officers for holding containers of alcohol.

In video of the incident, Weinman argues with the officers about the whether or not she's allowed to have the drinks on the beach. She claims they belong to her aunt and passes a breathalyzer test.

When she refuses to give her last name, one officer says he's going to arrest her. She walks away, and the officer says, "Alright, you're going to get dropped."

Weinman appears to push the officer near where his body camera is situated, and when the video cuts back in, the officer has her on the ground. Both videos from the body cameras and from the beachgoer show one of the officers throwing punches toward her head.

The Wildwood Police Department has prevented the YouTube videos of the body cam footage from being embedded and viewed on other websites, but you can view them here, here and here, and via a compilation video from NJ.com below.

Weinman has not decided whether she will file a lawsuit against Wildwood police, according to NJ.com. Her attorney said she has had to go to the doctor for treatment of neck and back injuries suffered during the incident.

Wildwood police are still conducting an internal affairs investigation into the incident.