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Police and Law Enforcement Home    >    Editorials    >    South Brunswick PD Right to Charge False Accusers


Police and
Law Enforcement News




South Brunswick PD Right to
Charge False Accusers
Police and Law Enforcement News
Monday, April 15, 2013  12:01 a.m.


The South Brunswick Police Department sent a very clear message last week: if you file a false internal affairs report against an officer, you will be formally charged with a criminal offense.

On March 18, 2013 an officer with SBPD stopped a woman and issued several motor vehicle summonses.  At some point, the woman filed an internal affairs complaint against the officer. 

In the complaint she accused the officer of assaulting her by reaching through the window and smacking her.  She even demonstrated exactly what the officer did.  The woman described how she felt traumatized and fearful as a result of the assault.

Unfortunately for our "victim," the villain officer's patrol car recorded the entire episode. 

And nothing happened.

Sgt. Jim Ryan, a spokesman for SBPD, spoke with

Ryan said the videotape – which includes audio – showed the officer behaved professionally.

“The video shows the police car stopped at a traffic light on Route 27 and Heathcote Road,” the report from police states. “The light turns green for Route 27 and Ms. Yang goes through the red light on Heathcote Road.”

The tape shows the officer conducting a motor-vehicle stop, Ryan said.

The officer writes Yang two tickets for going through a red light and failure to produce a vehicle registration.

“The officer explains the motor vehicle tickets and walks away from the car without incident,” Ryan said.

When the investigation was complete and it was determined that there was no wrongdoing, instead of just closing the case out, SBPD signed her up for filing a false police report.

This needs to be done more.  Much more.

When an internal affairs investigation uncovers improper conduct by an officer, he or she is dealt with - and rightfully so - immediately and accordingly. 

It should work no differently for those who concoct stories against police officers.  When it is evident that the complaint is an outright lie, the complainant needs to be put in bracelets.

We're not suggesting to have every complainant in every IA investigation thrown in jail when the disposition is unfounded or not sustained.  There are times where two people (an officer and a complainant) can have a different perception of what took place during an encounter.  We must leave room for this.

We also don't want to create an atmosphere that discourages legitimate reports of corruption or improper behavior.  It's better for our profession that such incidents are uncovered appropriately handled.

But fabricated accusations must result in arrest.

Whether the complainant be a street urchin from an inner city upset about a drug charge or a primadonna attorney unhappy because his speeding ticket caused him to lose his tee-time, if a false accusation is made, the response needs to be a green sheet and nothing less.

More agencies should follow South Brunswick's lead.

Use the scroll box below to share your thoughts.









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