Point Pleasant Beach police defend actions seen in online video; ordinance violations up 170% in 2020
The Point Pleasant Police Department is defending officers’ actions following an arrest on the boardwalk caught on video Sunday, as violations in the city exponentially increase.
The video shows five officers surrounding 29-year-old Zakee Murphy, of Garfield, and attempting to arrest him. Witnesses say that Murphy was simply drinking alcohol on the boardwalk. But Chief Joseph Michigan says that there is more to the story that the video does not show.
“That person was walking down the side of the boardwalk drinking alcohol, clearly out in public. He gave police officers a false name and when told to stop walking away, he disregarded the officers’ commands. Informed that he was arrested, informed that he was under arrest, he chose to resist police officers,” Michigan says.
Police say that violations this year are like nothing that they have ever seen. Summonses are up nearly 170% from 2019, from drinking and smoking marijuana out in public, to public urination.
“Total disregard for any type of people’s property. They will do what they want. This mentality of, ‘I’ll just do whatever I want and I can care less.’ It’s got to stop. It’s horrible,” the chief says.
Despite the online backlash to the arrest video, Michigan says that the officers acted properly.
“I fully support the police officers that acted quite professionally and they will continue to act professionally,” he says.
Michigan says officers have issued more than 600 summonses since Memorial Day weekend to people violating quality of life ordinances.