No Apologies from Woman in Wildwood Arrest Video
WILDWOOD — Her lawyer by her side, the woman who was punched in the head by officers arresting her on the beach during Memorial Day weekend defended her actions Wednesday during two morning news interviews.
"I'm not a criminal. I'm not a bad person, " Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia, told "CBS This Morning" as she reiterated her story about what happened on the Wildwood beach on the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend. Three Wildwood officers approached Weinman about possible underage drinking on the beach but she passed two breathalyzer tests administered on the spot.
The encounter, however, continued to escalate with Weinman refusing to provide officers with her name.
The arrest made headlines after another person on the beach took video of the arrest, showing an officer punching Weinman at least twice in the head. Days later, the police department released video clips from the officer's bodycam, although the debate about how police handled the situation did not abate.
Weinman, the mother of a toddler, admitted on Wednesday to giving the officer "a little attitude" when she asked one of the officers if he had anything better to do than give breathalyzer tests on the beach.
Her attorney, Stephen Dicht, jumped in when Weinman was asked why she didn't just submit to an arrest an argue it out in court later.
"It's impossible to answer that question [...] it's all happening in the moment," Dicht said. Weinman said she does not need to apologize for her actions to police.
"I'm very sorry that the situation happened, but I don't owe them an apology at all."
Weinman has been charged with assault on police and other charges. The Cape May County prosecutor on Tuesday said the officers would not face criminal charges.
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The bodycam video shows Weinman walking away from the officers, with one warning her that she is "about to get dropped."
Body cam footage shows Weinman using profanity against officers and she then appears to shove the approaching officer in the chest, which police said caused the officer's bodycam to turn off.
When the camera comes back on, Weinman is on the ground screaming, saying that she can't breathe. Before he handcuffs her, the bodycam video shows the officer's fist rising and falling several times. Weinman then is seen spitting toward the officers.
The officers will not face charges following an investigation by Cape May Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland although they will face disciplinary action from their own department.
Sutherland said was aware of the emotion surrounding the video but made his decision based on facts.
"They think that because they are cops they can get away with it. And that's not the case," Weinman said of that decision.
Weinman on Good Morning America said the incident left her upset emotionally exhausted and with her neck and back hurting. She also is unhappy with everything being said about her in the media and in social media discussion.
"They see one video and they're saying all this negative stuff about someone. One situation doesn't define someone.
When asked why she didn't give her name when asked, Weinman said she didn't see the point in it.
"I didn't Something in my gut was telling me it wasn't right. I knew that in my rights that I didn't have to. I cooperated. I did everything I was asked to," Weinman said.
Weinman is scheduled to make her first appearance in court in July.
Wildwood mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said the officers were part of a crackdown on underage drinking on the beach. In an interview on WPG Talk Radio 104.1 the mayor called Weinman "a combatant more than a woman" and compared her flailing to that of a 2-year-old who doesn't want their diaper changed.
Patrick Lavery contributed to this report