Carteret cop charged with savage beating of teen while camera was off
CARTERET — A borough police officer who is the mayor's brother has been charged with brutally punching a 16-year-old boy in the face.
The criminal charges against Joseph Reiman, 31, the brother of Mayor Daniel Reiman, comes days after news reports about the May 31 arrest and the teen's hospitalization.
Prosecutors say Reiman assaulted the teen after he had surrendered, failed to use "reasonable discretion or restraint" and failed to turn on his body camera.
The case has also been referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which will investigate whether the teen's civil rights may have been violated, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said Friday.
While there is no body camera footage, part of the incident was captured by the dashboard camera of his police vehicle.
The incident began as a traffic stop, but the family said the teen panicked and hit the gas, crashing the vehicle.
Prosecutors said Reiman got on top of the teen and "punched the teen several times with a closed fist."
Instead of calling an ambulance, Reiman placed the teen into the back seat of his cruiser.
Mayor Reiman on Wednesday said that the borough was waiting for the prosecutor to conclude its investigation and urged the prosecutor to release as much information as possible to the public.
"I believe the timely release of information is important to ensure the continued public trust of Law Enforcement in New Jersey," Reiman said.
Prosecutors, however, have not released a copy of the dashcam video, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.
Many police departments across the state have adopted body-worn cameras as a way to protect police officers and promote public confidence in law enforcement.
It's rare for county prosecutors in New Jersey to bring charges against police officers accused of using excessive force.
Last year, two Bloomfield police officers were convicted and sentenced to five years in prison after dash cam footage exonerated a man who the two officers had pulled over and dragged out of his car.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5.
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