Senior witnesses incident between undergraduate, NBPD
The School of Arts and Sciences senior who posted YouTube videos of a New Brunswick police officer punching a University student never expected them to become a part of headline news.
"When I first put it on, there were about 100 views. It was basically just lying low for a while," he said. "It wasn't until everyone started putting it on their Facebook and tweeting it to news sites that it got picked up."
The videographer was alone in his Stone Street house Saturday when around 12:45 a.m. he noticed a ruckus outside. He ran outside to take a look, but returned back inside to lock his doors and forget about the situation.
"Next thing I know I see a Rutgers police spotlight," he said. "I look through my window and I see a couple of kids in a tussle on a snow bank."
He immediately grabbed his camera when five police cars arrived at the scene on the corner of Sicard Street and Stone Street.
With his Canon EOS 5D, he filmed four officers on top of a student telling him to stop resisting arrest, and then saw one officer throw four punches.
"Whether or not he hit him in the face, I can't make that call, but he was punching right in the vicinity of it," he said.
Under the username Jerz15, he titled it "Rutgers Student Brutally Beaten by NBPD" and uploaded it online 10 minutes after recording. It now has more than 37,000 views.
"I was just trying to videotape something that was going on," he said. "It wasn't like I thought anything was going to happen."
The videographer could not comfortably label the officer's act as excessive force, but he said he wanted to gauge the response of others' through YouTube.
"It's a little gruesome to watch. Everyone who I've seen watch it, they kind of turned back. They don't even want to see that," he said.
He believes the authorities are taking serious measures to address the issue.
Internal Affairs investigators are interviewing witnesses and examining footage from a police cruiser video camera, New Brunswick Police Director Peter Mangarella said in a mycentraljersey.com article.
— Kristine Rosette Enerio