A New Jersey man who video recorded a mob of cops beating a woman on the Fourth of July was attacked and beaten himself by those same cops, only for another citizen to video record that arrest.
Trenton police managed to delete the footage from the first camera – as they’ve done in the past with other citizens – but didn’t manage to delete the footage from the second camera.
But only because they were too busy beating the first man to even notice he was recording.
It was the typical textbook cop beatdown we’ve come to expect from the Blue Mafia with one cop yelling “stop resisting” to a non-resisting citizen crying out in pain as another cop sics a dog on him and another cop kicks him in the face.
Lael Queen was charged with obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and charging an officer. He said was just doing his laundry at a public laundromat after having recorded the cops when they confronted him.
Before Queen was rounded up, he was standing on the corner near Kirkbride Avenue 10 to 15 feet away from the officers filming on his phone the alleged assault of the woman when one of the cops told him he was interfering with an investigation.
“I told them I’m not interfering with anything,” he said Monday. “I’m just videotaping y’all beating up this girl, which is my right.”
After leaving the laundromat briefly and then returning for his belongings, he was again confronted by the cops shortly before the alleged attack on him began as he was carrying his clean clothes.
The video shows cops kicking and sorting through his clothes at the scene after Queen is arrested.
The 31-year-old was taken to the hospital, where he remained until early Saturday morning, when he was transported to Trenton police lockup.
The mechanic said he was in custody for 10 hours before being released. He is charged with obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and charging an officer.
On Monday morning, Queen pleaded not guilty to the charges in Trenton municipal court.
Queen claims the authorities confiscated his phone and erased the video of police beating up the woman before giving him back the device.
But he is still trying to retrieve that video from his phone,
Trentonian reporter David Foster has been doing a good job on keeping on top of this story, already haven written two stories, the first one where he goes into the abusive history of the local police department while mentioning the department and city is under new leadership.
In an eerily similar case, the city paid $80,000 in October to settle a lawsuit from a state worker who was allegedly roughed up by several city cops when he refused to turn over his cell phone.
The Trentonian previously reported Neal Costanzo, a state Department of Community Affairs employee, was taking pictures with his cell phone of Trenton cops arresting a 55-year-old woman in a wheelchair, who allegedly verbally abused and physically attacked a NJ Transit bus driver.
After police confiscated phones of several other bystanders and deleted photos of the woman’s arrest, Costanzo was taken to the ground and roughed up by several officers for failing to comply.
Costanzo, who was 31 at the time, eventually offered up the phone, but he was taken to police headquarters and then released after he was issued a summons for obstruction.
Last June, a 20-year-old recorded audio of a police officer allegedly punching him in the face after asking the officer for his badge number.
“That’s my (expletive) badge number right there,” the cop says in the recording. “Shut the (expletive) up.”
In February 2012, video from La Guira Bar captured city police officers allegedly using excessive force in two arrests.
There is a civil lawsuit against the city and the Trenton Police Department for the actions of the officers that night. Officer Nidia Colon is also facing criminal official misconduct charges for her role in one arrest.
In December 2012, Steven Jennette ended up in a coma for two days after being taken into custody by Trenton police.
Jennette remembers being punched and sprayed with pepper spray by city police before waking up at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.
Just Friday, Mayor Eric Jackson heard a complaint during his visit to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen from a resident that alleged cops were verbally abusive toward him.
Jackson, who was just sworn in on July 1, said he has concerns about the allegations and expects police officers to act professionally while on duty.
On Monday, Jackson said he is in the process of investigating the Queen incident.
“It would be premature for me to speak to it until all the facts are in,” he said in a statement. “As I have consistently said, I am committed to ensuring that everyone — from our police officers to members of our community — work together to make Trenton a safer city and every incident involving law enforcement will be judged by that metric.”
Acting Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr., whom Jackson appointed the day he was sworn in, did not return a message seeking comment.
The Trenton Police Department has obviously operated under the assumption that nobody outside its community would care how it acts, so a few lawsuits here and there wouldn’t really didn’t make a difference to them, considering it’s not their money they’re dishing out.
But now that things have changed because of citizen videos and the internet, we can let the new mayor and police director know we are paying attention.
The new director, Ernest Parrey Jr., can be reached at 609-989-4055.
But now we’ll see if he will continue cleaning house until they have a clean house or if he was only replacing one gang with another.