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N.J. Cop Interrupts 'Excessive Force'


A Bogota (N.J.) Police officer is facing discplinary review for interrupting a Ridgefield police sergeant's attempt to detain an emotionally disturbed man. Officer Regina Tasca said she intervened to stop excessive force.

April 30, 2012
10171 views

Tags: Use-of-Force Policies, Emotionally Disturbed Person, Thin Blue Line


Comments (28)

Displaying 1 - 28 of 28

Robert J. Castaldi @ 4/30/2012 5:25 PM

Looks to me like an emotionally disturbed man decided he wanted to make the rules. Not acceptable. Not only that, the female officer at the beginning turined her back to the man and essentially offered up her weapon. The disturbed person does not make the call and his decision to walk away was not the way to handle it. The Sgt. did what was necessary to detain the man. Then he is outnumbered because he has the apparent family members who at the beginning wanted the man hospitalized for his issues, now also wanted to decide how that should be done. And the female Officer decides to fight the Sgt. making him a lone man against everyone there and emboldening all of the civilians thereby inflaming tensions and endangering lives. Also her language and blatant verbal disrespect to a Sgt in the presence of civilians and children (she pointed that out at the beginning) was totally inappropriate and grounds for additional discipline.

DEADMAN @ 4/30/2012 6:03 PM

At the very least,she should be suspended for endangering everybody at the scene,retraining,an apology to all officers at the scene and the civilians,including the EDP.She was totally out of line.I don't care how long she has been on the force,her department should probably weigh her previous behavior and any possible future behavior and falling back on that gender crap makes me believe she might be sorely lacking in police mind-set about protecting a fellow officer and all present at the scene,which is obvious that she failed to do.How did she pass the academy and field training?Who would want to work with her in the future,both on her department and those with agreements with her department?

Glen @ 4/30/2012 6:32 PM

Robert, I wish I could add to your statement, but you covered all that I noticed and called it out as I would have. She could have helped the sergeant cuff the man to bring this to an end sooner. If she wanted to from that point, she could have the admin reviewed the video.

RPG50 @ 4/30/2012 7:00 PM

We can only hope that the review board applies a common sense and judgment that can see the difference between a potentially deadly event and that often, necessary force looks like abuse to the uninitiated and naive. And its sometimes not just civilians that are afflicted, there are officers that may have skated along in their careers without having to get in a scuffle or draw a weapon. Trying not to sound sexist, but I've worked with women officers that were purposely the last to a call and would only get in the fight only after it was won. Maybe it was just my training that taught me that violence of action often did more to de-escalate a situation than allowing the bad guy to gain advantage and possible hurting the officer or being killed by the officer. Some cops have officer awareness and some don't. Those that don't get it only survive a career by the grace of God or that they've been able to avoid situations where they might be injured. Lets hope that brighter minds prevail in this case.

RPG50 @ 4/30/2012 7:10 PM

One more thought occurred to me. I've known female officers that jump to place blame on someone else if they felt their actions were wrong. Its a reaction to displace blame and often an ingrained trait that has existed since childhood. Of course, there have been male officers that do the same.

Keoni R. May @ 4/30/2012 7:20 PM

When an arrest is in progress, no one should interfere with the arrest. An arrest can turn deadly, if the arresting officer is outnumbered, and someone removes his firearm. Another law enforcement officer should not interfere with an arrest in progress.

FireCop @ 4/30/2012 9:22 PM

I totally agree with the previous posts. I was taught to escalate the force above what the subject is trying to force on you. He was immediately non compliant. Did the Bogota officer really think they could stabilize the situation if they allowed the subject to dictate that the scene become dynamic, rather than stationary? I think the sergeant handled the situation very well and did not need the conflict from the Bogota officer. You can't allow a subject to flee from a scene. This is a textbook case where force must be used!

Martin @ 4/30/2012 9:37 PM

Hope she's fired!

The Beast @ 4/30/2012 10:31 PM

One question, does anyone think the resisting arrest charge will stick? The subject was never told that he was under arrest and what for. He just got tackled and beat by some cop (from another town).The thing I remember most is that we can not charge an EDP that was being committed with resisiting arrest. We NEVER used a CLOSED FIST!

Dennis @ 4/30/2012 10:59 PM

Closed fist?? How about a baton across the knee caps, which is how you handle it. You're right on the closed fist...a cop could hurt his hand.

Hank @ 5/1/2012 2:35 AM

How professional, what language! N.J. huh, what a surprise!

Amy @ 5/1/2012 6:43 AM

I agree with the what the majority of you are saying. Any disagreement should have been handled after the event and in private. However, don't place blame on her being a female! Just because she acted like this does not mean all women would have acted like that. Its no different when a male cop does something bad and women cops place all the blame on him being a man. What's wrong is wrong no matter the gender. If there are women doing stupid unsafe things out there, then they need to be trained appropriately, counseled, or disciplined.

Bob T.retired NYS LEO @ 5/1/2012 12:31 PM

In my many years I probably have handled over 50 EDP's. In my time we had no stun guns, no asp batons and we weren't trained very well to understand mental health problems. So I took classes from Mental health professionals as to the diseases and the acting out. I did have one powerful weapon, my gift of gab. I only had to physically subdue three of the EDP's. From bi-polar to schizophrenics, I talked them down. I informed them they would not be arrested but taken for evaluation and they talked and went with me. Possibly the worst case was a paranoid schizophrenic who had a mouth full of razor blades and was talking to the lord. It took me an hour to talk him down as many people watched. I was complimented on the way I handled the case back then by my supervisors and the community. One of the best programs I have seen was in Jacksonville, Fl. where the Off's were given mental health classes on how to handle an EDP and not injure them or themselves, and also identify the illness. The female Off. in the recording, off duty, should have assisted the Sgt. and not added to the ruckus.

ResistTheUnlawful @ 5/1/2012 1:04 PM

“An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

The law is no longer on your side Keoni. The courts will prove that the subject was not yet under arrest, so resisting arrest is impossible. The second the officer put his hands on his, he had the right to self defense....whether you like it or not. She should be commended....not punished. Actions like this are the reason police officers are still abusing their authority. And the fact that you dont want people to resist makes this more and more a police state. Resist the unlawful. Defend yourself. Its your right.

ResistTheUnlawful @ 5/1/2012 1:12 PM

To Glen::::::

A badge does not grant extra rights. The fact that most cases of police abuse go unnoticed is the fact that your boss doesnt want the flack, so he sweeps it under the rug. Its stories like this that give your "profession" a bad name. You are not my boss. You do not give me orders. Especially when I have not committed a crime. And unfortunately for you, you dont get to decide if I have or have not committed a crime. I am personally leading a group of Free Americans in a fight against unlawful police conduct, including resisting unlawful arrest.

Top Sgt. @ 5/1/2012 1:57 PM

I find myself in agreement with the majority of the officers submitting posts.

Ofc. Tasca should have helped, she chose not to and in my opinion is guilty of misfeasance and non-feasance she should reevaluate her career choice or have it reevaluated for her.

At least be willing to call for an officer that is willing to act she clearly was not. Her officer safety is incredibly poor.

This is what happens when you end up becomming what you really are afraid of being; a police officer. She actually ended up helping the mentally challenged young man, and now she is playing the stopping excessive force card.

Shame on you Ms. Tasca you make hard working competent women officers look bad.

Josh @ 5/1/2012 5:17 PM

Other than The Beast, these comments, by whom I assume to be police officers, are frightening. It just shows how far the term "peace officer" has continued to evolve into "law enforcer" in the US. Nowadays it seems like a wrong look or a lack of complete submission is all that is required for some bogus "officer assault" charge and ensuing beatdown. But then again, I'm not part of "The Brotherhood", so what do I know...

Charlie @ 5/1/2012 6:45 PM

I agree completely with the first post here. I would only add that the female officer is an embarrassment to her department. After thirty years on the job, I have worked with many female officers that would've beaten me to the tackle......this officer whether male or female was a disaster. Thankfully the sarge was there to handle the situation properly and most likely prevented the situation from escalating.........except of course, until the female officer jumped in.

Thor @ 5/1/2012 8:44 PM

1) The minute officers stepped off public sidewalk they were trespassing. 2) The man verbally commanded them to get off his property (no exigent circumstances happened yet) 3) In Colorado the intruders (cops) would be subject to citizen arrest. 4)The yard in front of the private residence is legally known as "curtilage" and is protected from government intrusion. A warrant is needed. The person taken into custody was assaulted (tackled) by a cop. Cop needs to be charged criminally. The upper hand in the whole incident is held by the citizen. Constitutional protections were repeatedly violated by the LEO's and they need to realize who is the boss--it is not them. Obviously the family would make great witnesses in federal court. I trained the first female patrolperson in my town and all comments are way off base.

The instigators here are LEO's and should be aware that in this state the second amendment is taken seriously and a weapon could have been used in self defense--cop or no cop. Time to wake up NJ!!

Zim @ 5/1/2012 10:50 PM

Beast, what planet are you from. Maybe the sergeant should have let the mentally disturbed and angry man walk away and harm someone else or himself....who would get sued now? The female officer had no command presence, no tactics and actually turned around exposing her firearm to a mentally disturbed man. Wow, she should be terminated and charged with interfering with the sergeant.

The Beast @ 5/2/2012 11:04 PM

The EDP was not charged with resisiting arrest! He got hit in the head with a fist and released! Use of force report must read like a work of fiction. If it was even done. And the case is ongoing. Officer vs Officer.

AJ @ 5/3/2012 6:37 AM

That was hard to follow after watching the primary officer turn her back on the subject at 0:42. My inner FTO was pegged in the red.

Daniel @ 5/3/2012 1:48 PM

Two separate issues. Female officer made a bad call to turn her back, and she showed disrespect, yes. The mentally disturbed man, however is mentally disturbed, and there is no need judging from the number of officers available on the call, the relative calm of the scene to make a tackle. I don't have all the call details, but I didn't see any evidence that the man demonstrated violence. He turned his back, presented no threat, and was upset and wanted to walk. I read the comments people saying he cannot call the shots, he's mentally unbalanced folks. Have any of you taken CI training? There were many options, the tackle appears from the available evidence to have been the wrong one. Male or female had I been on scene I'd have said it was a bad call too.

Daniel @ 5/3/2012 1:48 PM

Two separate issues. Female officer made a bad call to turn her back, and she showed disrespect, yes. The mentally disturbed man, however is mentally disturbed, and there is no need judging from the number of officers available on the call, the relative calm of the scene to make a tackle. I don't have all the call details, but I didn't see any evidence that the man demonstrated violence. He turned his back, presented no threat, and was upset and wanted to walk. I read the comments people saying he cannot call the shots, he's mentally unbalanced folks. Have any of you taken CI training? There were many options, the tackle appears from the available evidence to have been the wrong one. Male or female had I been on scene I'd have said it was a bad call too.

Daniel @ 5/3/2012 1:48 PM

Two separate issues. Female officer made a bad call to turn her back, and she showed disrespect, yes. The mentally disturbed man, however is mentally disturbed, and there is no need judging from the number of officers available on the call, the relative calm of the scene to make a tackle. I don't have all the call details, but I didn't see any evidence that the man demonstrated violence. He turned his back, presented no threat, and was upset and wanted to walk. I read the comments people saying he cannot call the shots, he's mentally unbalanced folks. Have any of you taken CI training? There were many options, the tackle appears from the available evidence to have been the wrong one. Male or female had I been on scene I'd have said it was a bad call too.

Greg @ 5/7/2012 8:23 AM

I encourage everyone to go to http://www.northjersey.com/bogota/At_disciplinary_hearing_Bogota_officers_attorney_criticizes_investigation_into_2011_incidents.html to see more facts and even more history about Officer Regina Tasca. Let's just say this isn't the first time she has not backed up fellow officers.

Tom Ret @ 5/8/2012 12:47 PM

If you are taken to the ground and handcuffed you can safely assume you are under arrest whether it is spoken or not. It sounds like the female officer didn't have a clue how to handle the situation or why. She should be shown a desk or the door.

Texasjustice2012 @ 5/29/2012 3:28 PM

The female officer has no idea what she is doing... She needs to find another job. Hopefully she will be taken of patrol and needs to be behind a desk. And her gun should be taken away since she practically handed it over to a mentally ill indivudal by turning her back against him. what the he@# was she thinking. This could have turned very ugly.

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