Ridgefield Park police hate cameras so much that they refuse to place them in their squad cars or anywhere within the police department, including interrogation rooms, jail cells or the general lobby.
So it’s not surprising that they are accused of assaulting a pair of female passengers who attempted to video record them conducting a sobriety test.
The women, Leslie Rosario and Jessamine Roman, were passengers in a car driven by Juan Calle last month, according to The Record of Bergen County.
When Calle entered a DWI checkpoint, police had him step out of the car and go through the routine of a sobriety test.
Rosario pulled out her Blackberry and began recording the sobriety test from the passenger’s seat.
Captain John DeNiro told her to stop recording, but she continued.
DeNiro then reached into the car attempting to grab the phone.
That’s when things got ugly.
Rosario wrested the phone from DiNiro and threw it to Roman, who was sitting in the back of the car, Chazen said.
An enraged DiNiro then opened the car door, yanked Rosario out of the car and forced her onto the ground before handcuffing her with help from another officer, Chazen said.
Other officers ordered Roman out of her car and told her to raise her hands, Chazen said. When Roman hesitated and explained that raising her hands would cause her breasts to be exposed, the officers arrested her, Chazen said.
The two were taken to police headquarters and placed in a holding cell for several hours. They were charged with resisting arrest and obstruction.
So the women hired an attorney, who attempted to get any video recordings that would show the women were mistreated in police custody.
But it turns out, they have no cameras anywhere within or outside the police department.
A Ridgefield Park official, however, wrote a letter to Chazen on Sept. 2 saying there is no video or DVD recording of the DWI stop.
“There are also no recordings by cameras in headquarters (including lobby, interrogation room, jail cells, and areas where police officers would congregate,” records clerk Cindy Abissi said in the letter.