NEWARK, N.J. – Two Newark police officers have been suspended after a video of a man jumping on a police car went viral over the weekend.
Police launched an investigation after the video showed an officer staying in his squad car while the Newark 18-year-old jumped on the vehicle, reported ABC7NY.
Authorities say a second officer responded to the scene as backup, but waited before engaging the teen.
Police eventually arrested Altahriq Aulston, 18, on three counts of criminal mischief.
However, the agency was unhappy with the officers failure to act. The department says the officers should have stopped the man, but instead they did nothing.
“All officers are trained to respond in various types of situations, including ones where they encounter unstable individuals. These officers instead took no action at all to quell the situation, and to aid and subdue the suspect, as they are trained to do. This lack of action could have resulted in the suspect injuring himself, as well as other persons or property,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said.
Nevertheless, some think the officers showed restraint and their actions may have actually helped to diffuse the situation.
“The majority of Newark Police Division officers are proud and hardworking,” Ambrose said. “The Newark Police Division and the citizens of Newark deserve better than what was demonstrated by these officers. They had an opportunity, and an obligation, to help the suspect, who was acting irrationally, and they failed to do so. We should not confuse restraint with a lack of response. If they did not help themselves, then how can we expect them to help the citizens that they serve.”
Many bystanders gathered around taking cell phone video of the incident. Some thought the man would be roughed up or shot by police. To the delight of at least one man, that did not happen. He was pleased with the police response.
The names of the suspended police officers have not been released.
The officer who remained in his car during the incident has seven months of experience, while the officer who responded as backup has been on the job for 10 years.