Crime & Safety Local News

Paterson investigating video of officer’s conduct toward woman waiting to file domestic violence complaint

Paterson police are investigating a video posted online that shows part of an exchange between a city police officer and woman who was trying to file a domestic violence complaint at police headquarters.

The video, posted Tuesday by a local activists, shows a uniformed officer appearing to ignore, then ridicule a woman who came to the police department to file a report of domestic violence. It was unclear when the video was shot or whether the woman was able to speak with a police officer.

“We are aware of the video, and as soon as we were made aware of it, the Chief (Ibrahim M. Baycora) started an internal affairs investigation,” Speziale said.
Speziale said the police department’s investigation would be conducted in accordance with guidelines from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General.
Paterson resident Zellie Y. Thomas, a member of the Black Lives Matter movement, obtained the video from a family member of the woman, then posted it Tuesday to Facebook and Twitter.
“Just watch how she was treated by the desk sergeant,” Thomas said in his post. “This is why domestic violence and sexual assault victims rarely go to the police.”
During the four-minute video, the officer sarcastically blows kisses, tries to block the recording with a large envelope and makes derogatory remarks, including, “you’re such a crybaby, ” “clown” and “ghetto” when the two complained they had been waiting so long.
The video was posted online the same day that Paterson officials announced police officers in the city would begin wearing body-worn cameras to provide for “greater transparency” with citizens.

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