In a video that has shocked the Internet, a former New Jersey police officer was caught on camera assaulting a suicidal man in a hospital bed:
A former New Jersey police officer who admitted dealing drugs was caught on camera brutally assaulting a suicidal man — twice.
Federal prosecutors sentenced ex-Paterson officer Ruben McAusland to nearly six years in jail Wednesday for both crimes. He also must pay $32,892 in restitution.
The U.S. Attorney’s office released the video this week of 27-year-old McAusland, on duty and in uniform, assaulting a patient at St. Joseph’s Regional Hospital in March 2018.
First, surveillance video caught McAusland pushing and punching the man, who was in a wheelchair in a waiting room full of people.
Then the patient, lying in his hospital bed, tells the officer “do it” before McAusland slaps him twice across the face, so hard that blood sprays onto the bed. The man had an eye injury that required surgery.
The patient, identified as Andrew Casciano, has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city.
Another officer, Roger Then, recorded video of the assault with his cell phone. He has pleaded guilty in the hospital assault.
McAusland pleaded guilty last June to possessing drugs with the intent to distribute and depriving the patient of his civil rights.
Prosecutors say McAusland distributed heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana on multiple occasions to someone who was cooperating with law enforcement.
Now I should make clear that I do not want to say this man being beaten was innocent or did good things. As the video clearly shows, he was not of a good temperament or disposition, and he was verbally abusive. Likewise, this is also not to say that police do not become angry because of the legitimate stresses of the job, and sometimes they may do things that are not good out of frustration. Such is not uncommon to any man.
However, having said that, part of the distinction- a major part -between the police and criminals is that while both may carry weapons and use force, the police are supposed to use it selectively for the benefit of society and to have control over themselves. This police officer clearly did not, and when one looks at it along side the fact that this officer was stealing drugs and selling drugs, it only shows that he is not doing his duty to “Protect and Serve”, as many departments say, but is using it to provide a cover for objective criminal behavior.
Part of the breakdown of society happens when the line between law enforcement and lawlessness is blurred. This is not to say there is anything specific about this incident, other than that in recent yeas, there has been an increasing amount of abuse from the agencies tasked with enforcing the law so that there is emerging in a public and unprecedented manner in an American context two sets of laws- one for those with power, money, and relationships, and one for everyone else.
One should not fear true law and justice if one has done nothing wrong. But if increasingly the definition of “law” becomes the enforcement of lawlessness, especially if it is in a systematic way, then one must be concerned because it is but a harbinger of an ominous future, one which many immigrants fled the old world to escape from and which now seems to be coming to the new world.