Phil Murphy’s response to the Wildwood punching video was unhelpful

By Matt Rooney

We still don’t really know what happened on that beach in Wildwood, Save Jerseyans. Unless you were there?

I wasn’t.

The popular Cape May County beach resort’s mayor said Tuesday that soon-to-be-released body cam footage will exonerate the police. An official police investigation is underway. We’ll know soon enough whether a police officer went overboard when he punched a 20-year old woman who, according to published reports, was being subdued and arrested. 

Phil Murphy hasn’t even seen the original footage (see below); he certainly hasn’t seen the new footage, either, since no one has other than the Wildwood authorities, but that didn’t stop our attention hungry Democrat governor from wading into the controversy on Tuesday and declaring the police’s behavior “disturbing.” The behavior he hadn’t seen.

“I have not seen the video, but it is quite disturbing based on the description,” Murphy told reporters at a public event in Hoboken. “Like everything else in life, the overwhelming percentage of folks in any line of business, certainly in folks who protect us are extraordinary… but if you see an example of excess force you’ve got to pursue and figure out why the heck that happened because based on everything I heard it was pretty darn disturbing.” [Emphasis added.]

Now, I sure as heck don’t enjoy seeing a woman, or anyone, being punched. Violence — justified or not — is never pleasant to behold unless you’re a real twisted character. It’s a sad situation.

But is it responsible for New Jersey’s top elected official to use loaded, conclusory-sounded language, like the words “excess” and “disturbing,” and apply it to an arrest without having seen ANY evidence?

Couldn’t he have said “we need to wait and see the video” and leave it at that?

He’s already made up his mind. We know Phil Murphy’s instincts are anti-cop regardless of what other words he weaves into his public remarks to tamper outrage; he admitted sympathizing with criminal illegal aliens during the 2017 gubernatorial election. Today’s comments further validate what some of us already knew and, on their face, were unhelpful (at best). At worse? Well, we already knew he was a radical. No surprises there! A dangerous one.

I’m talking to the wall here but please start thinking before you speak, Mr. Governor. Your citizens’ lives are on the line, and adding fuel to the anti-police fire — before we even know what happened — is beneath your office. Really, really not good.