NEWARK, NJ – The Newark Police Department has released body camera footage of an incident that happened last week when an unruly and angry mob attacked and assaulted police officers while making an arrest. Like wildfire, rumors of police brutality spread in the community and on social media, but the Newark Police Department said it released this video to ensure everyone invested knows exactly what happened last Tuesday.
Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara announces that due to numerous rumors and erroneous reports regarding an incident of aggravated assault against police on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the body worn camera footage related to the incident is being released.
“Typically, when a criminal investigation is underway, we don’t release the footage per policy,” Director O’Hara said. “Regardless, when police wear body-worn cameras, the public expects that we have nothing to hide. Therefore, I believe it is in the best interest of the public to release this video—especially in light of all the false information circulating about this incident.”
On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at approximately 1:30 p.m., two Newark Police Officers, assisted by a detective of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, were patrolling the area of Fabyan Place and Cypress Street in response to recent gun violence in that area. They approached a group of males on Cypress Street and attempted to stop one male who was suspected of gun possession. Two brothers of the suspect came to the scene and physically interfered with the arrest.
“First and foremost, I wholeheartedly commend the performance of these officers,” O’Hara added. “They used extraordinary restraint even while it is clear from the video that the officers were out-numbered and that they were attacked while attempting to make an arrest. We cannot and will not standby and allow police officers, who are sworn to safeguard our streets, to be physically attacked for doing their job.”
The officers requested backup. “In today’s climate, where similarly minor incidents have resulted in unpredictable outcomes, our officers ensured that not one of the civilians involved was injured, and that is highly commendable,” O’Hara said. “I thank Mayor Baraka, who personally responded to the scene that day, for deploying the City of Newark’s Code Enforcement Officers and members of the Department of Public Works to assess the safety of the area, which has been a hotspot for gun violence over the past few weeks.”
Afterward, 17 vehicles were towed from that block for being either abandoned or unregistered.
Two police officers were transported to University Hospital for treatment of complaints of pain and four men were arrested as a result of this incident. Branden K. Rodwell, 31, of Newark, and Justin Rodwell, 30, of Irvington, were arrested at the scene. Jaykil A. Rodwell, 28, and Jasper D. Spivey, 24, both of Newark, were arrested on Wednesday, after voluntarily surrendering to police following issuances of arrest warrants for each on charges related to this incident. Branden Rodwell and Justin Rodwell each face charges of three counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, obstruction of the administration of the law and resisting arrest.
Jaykil Rodwell and Jasper Spivey each face charges of three counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, obstruction of the administration of the law and hindering apprehension or prosecution.