Dear Friends & Neighbors,
The K9 attacks on citizens by police in Atlantic City (AC) and Ocean City (OC) are disgustingly similar.
20 year old David Castellani was severely beaten by 5 AC cops the horror was captured on a casino video camera. After nearly 3 minutes of being kicked, knee dropped, baton busted we see the arrival to the scene of K9 Officer Sterling Wheaten. With David lying face down with hands cuffed behind his back the canine can be seen biting the victim’s head and neck.
Similarly Mr. Petnick alleged that 4 OC cops beat him up, drew their guns, handcuffed his hands behind his back, dragged him out to the alley and then OC K9 Officer Vogt triggered Deuce to repeatedly bite his arms. The problem in OC is video of this event has not surfaced.
Both Mr. Petnick and Mr. Castellani allege permanent injuries including nerve damage with muscle paralysis.
In the case of Mr. Moyer the Deuce attack to the groin required surgery to reattach his penis. Mr. Castellan and Mr. Moyer were both charged with assaulting an officer that was actually a dog assaulting them.
AC Chief Jubilee and OC Chief Callahan state that the Internal Investigation done by their departments show no wrong doing by the involved cops. Further we are to be reassured that both Chiefs approved and signed off on these reports. City Administrator reiterated in response to a citizen’s inquiry during public comment that Callahan approved his department’s investigation. (If the foxes guarding the chicken coop ever need a spokesperson to represent them I’ve got a suggestion.) The bigger issue is the arrogance and disrespect for the public in defending the legitimacy of cops investigating cops.
The 2 chiefs’ attitudes reveals the biggest problem with America’s Police . From top to bottom Cops protect by their silence or outright lying any wrong doing by fellow officers. In any other profession not reporting criminal actions by a colleague is illegal. For Cops it is dangerous for a good cop to expose criminality in a fellow officer. Remember Officer Serpico of the NYPD?
The biggest betrayal comes from the AC and OC Mayors and their Council enablers. These people elected by their communities to ensure that the police “serve and protect” but are turning a blind eye to the more accurate reality, intimidate and abuse.
The blame game played out in OC is that the Solicitor blames the insurance carrier for pressuring the City to settle. This is not true as the insurer will cover the City unless the Cops are found guilty in the Federal Court and/or the City has lied to the insurer. This is the justification given by the Mayor that he has no choice but follow the Solicitor’s recommendation.
The AC Mayor he requested an external investigation of the Castellani case by the NJ Attorney General. I salute Mayor Langford for this action and wonder why the OC Mayor doesn’t do likewise.
As previously mentioned the elected officials must bring an end to this Blue Code of Silence which will destroy civil society if rogue cops are unaccountable. All it takes is some courage which is not evident in the actions of our Police Chief, rank and file officers, Mayor, Councilmen and City Administrators.
As long as our City refuses to do everything in its power to clear the name of Officers wrongly accused of wrongdoing…
As long as our city makes settlements permitting thugs to wear the Police badge …
There will be at least 1 person making as much noise as possible to rouse the public.
Steven Fenichel, MD
( firstname.lastname@example.org )