WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — The woman whose violent arrest on a Wildwood beach went viral has filed a lawsuit against two Wildwood Police Department officers and the city, according to her lawyer. Emily Weinman pleaded guilty to a disorderly persons charge after an altercation with police in Wildwood over Memorial Day weekend in 2018.
The viral video shows officers holding Weinman down and punching her several times.
I was sleeping on the beach and I woke up to this.. i can’t believe it.. pic.twitter.com/UJE5Sy7E4G
— Lexy (@HewittLexy) May 26, 2018
Officers say the incident began when the then 20-year-old refused to give her name after they questioned her about alcohol containers on the beach. Wildwood police released body-cam footage of the incident, and said Weinman “forcibly struck” an officer before her arrest.
Now, Weinman is suing the police department, alleging officers “acted more like WWE wrestlers” during her arrest. She has also called for the officers to be fired.
Weinman’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, sent Eyewitness News a statement about the lawsuit Monday:
“Emily Weinman was assaulted by grown men because she refused to provide her last name. This was after she had cooperated and submitted to a breathalyzer test that showed she had not consumed alcohol. While some in the public may think she was disrespectful or could have handled the situation better, the police officers were supposed to be the professionals. They acted more like WWE wrestlers when they told her she was ‘About to get dropped’ and then proceeded to assault her. Wildwood needs to train its officers on the concept of de-escalation rather than beating up 20-year-old mother who are too sassy for their liking. Perhaps this lawsuit will change how they do things.”
Bonjean also added that “if they can’t take back the beating they gave her or undo all the psychological trauma they caused, then I guess we will take monetary compensation and their jobs.”
The officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing after authorities reviewed that video and police body-cam footage.
Eyewitness News reached out to Wildwood police for comment, but have yet to hear back.
Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. says he has not yet seen the lawsuit.