Recorded on police body cam video deploying Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray without provocation, a New Jersey police officer was recently charged with two counts of simple assault. According to the video, the individuals were not physically resisting or attempting to harm others or themselves.
At 1:30 p.m. on June 4, Woodlynne Police Officer Ryan Dubiel and another officer confronted a small group of young men on a porch after receiving a 911 call for possible loitering and trespassing. When one of the individuals refused to put down his phone, Officer Dubiel grabbed his can of OC spray and began to shake it.
In the police body cam video, the individual with the phone asked, “What? You gonna mace me?”
After the individual with the phone continued to ignore Dubiel’s orders to put down the phone, the officer shot him in the face with OC spray. As the victim retreated onto the porch, Dubiel continued spraying indiscriminately into the small crowd.
When another young man began to run away from the chaos, Dubiel attempted to use the OC spray on him. With the young man fleeing down the street, Dubiel stopped pursuing and called him a “little bitch.”
The Office of the Camden County Prosecutor recently announced that Dubiel had been charged on June 10, with two counts of simple assault. Under the current Use of Force protocols, a police officer is permitted to use force when a subject refuses to comply with an officer’s commands at the time of arrest, or when the subject threatens the officer’s safety.
“Our Special Prosecutions Unit received the Internal Affairs complaint against Dubiel on June 5 and immediately began collecting all of the evidence to conduct a thorough and impartial review of the complaint,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer in a recent press release. “After careful review, it was clear Dubiel’s actions are not consistent with the State of New Jersey use-of-force policy.”
“I commend Acting Prosecutor Mayer for acting swiftly to hold this police officer accountable for the appalling and completely unjustified use of force alleged in these criminal charges,” stated New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. “This officer, who has worked for nine different police departments, is a strong example of why we need a statewide licensing program for police officers— a proposal that I initiated and that I will strongly support when it is presented later this month to the Police Training Commission. Just as we license doctors, nurses, and lawyers, we must ensure that all officers meet baseline standards of professionalism, and that officers who fail to meet those standards cannot be passed from one police department to another while posing a threat to the public and other officers.”
According to officials, Dubiel is currently suspended without pay.