The video below starts with a few Brookdale Community Police officers around Jeffrey Michel attempting to arrest him. I couldn’t confirm what lead to the officers presence, or their interest in Jeffrey, but in the video below it clearly seems he had a legitimate complaint about being arrested. I based that on the actions of the officer and their lack of explanation – or pathetic one – for arresting Jeffrey. See for yourself…
Jeffrey is clearly asking the officer to tell him what he’s being arrested for. For the first few minutes, the officer does not answer him. Then the female officer finally says “obstruction for not answering their questions.” Which is then narrowed down to refusing to ID as well, neither of which Jeffrey is legally required to do unless suspected of a crime – which was never stated. More and more officers continue to arrive on scene and ‘assist’ in the assault of Jeffrey. They mace him, harass the videographer and continue to use excessive force for the next 5 minutes, or so. One officer even starts to intimidate the videographer by shouting at them, while demanding they move back. All of which is typical cop harassment.
After the video was posted to YouTube, it spread through the internet world, going viral. The pressure from public, via social media, lead to an internal investigation but, like 99.9% of the time, the prosecutor’s officer cleared ALL officers of any wrongdoing. In fact, in a statement released by the prosecutor’s office, they claimed, “The officers could have been more aggressive and had Mr. Michael cuffed sooner and still have been in compliance with the above-referenced policies, further ensuring officer safety.” That’s right, they said the officer should have USED MORE FORCE.
Maybe that advice was heard loud and clear, or I’m about to make a large leap into the realm of conspiracy, because Jeffrey was killed in a hit & run accident last Friday on RT 37 in Toms Rivers, NJ. Would that have been the acceptable amount of force for these officers to use? Is the prosecutor trying to keep up with New York, LA and other cities where cops are killing people at an alarming rate? Who knows what they were implying by that statement but to advocate more force is absurd. Why? Because these cops were NEVER in danger for their lives. Jeffrey didn’t have a weapon and the officers clearly had him outnumbered. Maybe the arrest didn’t happen sooner because the officers knew what they were doing didn’t warrant it.
There are signs of this, IMO, when the female officer threatens to mace Jeffrey but doesn’t, the ones who do are the cops who showed up later, probably unaware of how the interaction started. Yet, that woman officer knew and she decided not to use pepper spray? Was she more understanding of Jeffrey’s objections? Was there more to this story? Seems we’ll never find out since Jeffrey will never be able to speak for himself again and the details, or answers, to this case will be buried with him. There will be no civil suit, depositions or public statements to the wrongful death. Even the driver of the hit & run are unlikely to be found, even if it wasn’t a cop who killed him, because cops are horrible at solving crimes with actual victims, especially one that’s given them as much push back as Jeffrey.
My condolences to the family Jeffrey Michel has left behind and my respect to a man who followed what was right in his heart. Rest in peace.