[“Speaking Truth To Empower”]
Monte Stewart: doesn’t his face speak clearly of racist police brutality?
Photo: Facebook screenshot
Did Officer Joseph Reiman’s brother Mayor Daniel Reiman help him escape justice?
On Sunday, New Jersey protesters marched in demonstration against Friday’s acquittal of Officer Joseph Reiman who brutally beat teenager Monte Stewart in 2017, during a traffic stop in Carteret, New Jersey.
Marchers poured into the streets of Carteret Sunday to illustrate their outrage at the verdict, in a city where Officer Reiman is the brother of Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman. The protests were peaceful.
How long will prosecutors continue to refuse to hold racist police accountable who criminally assault and kill Black people? How long will politicians—especially, Democrats—pretend the deadly serious issue of police brutality can continue to be just swept under the rug?
Black America must punish politicians—and prosecutors—who remain silent while racist policing continues. These phonies must be made to pay a heavy political price at the ballot box.
Sunday’s protest follows Friday’s acquittal of Officer Reiman, 33, who had been charged with aggravated assault, official misconduct, and falsifying a police report. After Friday unjust verdict, Stewart’s father, Russell Stewart, exploded in outrage in the courtroom saying, “He beat my son. It’s always the White police that get away. We’re going to die out here.”
On Sunday, protesters showed their support for the Stewart family while denouncing police brutality.
“The residents are tired and fed up,” said demonstrator, and former mayoral candidate, Fred Gattuso. “There were a lot more people that weren’t there from this town that are fed up with what’s going on here. … We need justice for Monte and all of the victims of Joe Reiman, and this needs to be the last.” Officer Reiman has four excessive force lawsuits pending against him.
Gattuso said their will be more marches against police brutality in Carteret. “For being put together on a short-term notice like this, it was a good turnout,” Gattuso said. “There are going to be more marches, and they are going to grow and have bigger turnouts.” Sunday’s march was estimated at around 100 protesters.
The case against Officer Reiman stemmed from the brutality he inflicted upon Monte Stewart, then 16, during a traffic stop on May 31, 2017. Stewart was driving his parents’ car that night when Officer Reiman flashed his lights to pull Stewart over. Stewart says he panicked when he saw the officer coming behind him and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes. Because of this, he hit a utility pole, or a tree. Stewart admits he was driving without a license.
Dashcam video illustrates it is possible Stewart may’ve tried to elude Reiman because he was driving without a license. However, that cannot justify the viciousness Officer Reiman imposed upon this teen.
When Officer Reiman pulls up to the crashed car, he orders Stewart to the ground. Stewart complies. But, somehow, that didn’t stop Reiman from repeatedly punching the 16-year-old—while he is lying on the ground. Reiman claims it was necessary to use Stewart’s face as a punching bag because the teenage wasn’t allowing Reiman to handcuff him.
Think about how asinine that sounds for a minute.
Officer Reiman was on top of Stewart—with Stewart on the ground—within seconds of approaching him. Police dashcam shows us this. Yet, this supposedly trained officer is saying he had to repeatedly punch a teen, in the face, to handcuff him.
The pictures of Stewart’s face, when he was in the hospital, tells us what this really was: an open opportunity to beat up a young Black person.
One witness, who lived nearby, disputed the lies of Officer Reiman. “The way he was punching him was excessive,” said witness Richard Watkins. “I thought he was going to beat him to death.”
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, who prosecuted Reiman stated he “failed to use reasonable discretion or restraint in the amount of force used to apprehend the teenager.” No kidding. It should be note that Officer Reiman would probably not have been prosecuted if it weren’t for the work of the journalists at NJ Advance Media, who published Monte Stewart’s account of the assault.
How much was Reiman helped by the influence of his brother Mayor Daniel Reiman?
According to Monte Stewart, one of the first punches Officer Reiman landed was to his right eye. After this, he said Reiman then knelled on him and hit him over a dozen times. The dashcam video verifies this. Monte says he shouted, “Please help!” and told Officer Reiman “Stop hitting me!”
Monte said Reiman kept abusing him—even after he was on his stomach being handcuffed. Then, he says a second officer started kicking him as well. An important question to ask here is: why wasn’t this part of the assault captured? The dashcam footage runs just over a minute. One of the charges against Reiman related to his failure to activate his bodycam. He was also charged with falsifying, or, tampering with evidence.
This sounds like Officer Reiman, and others, altered, or, destroyed video evidence.
Another nearby resident, Michelle Schindler, said she saw two officers arguing with angry witnesses who were apparently appalled by the vicious police assault they witnessed against Stewart. Schindler says within minutes seven or eight patrols car were on the scene. Importantly, she saw two officers arguing. She says one officer had an altercation with the other—and one officer pushed the other away.
Was this third officer trying to be a lone voice of reason? Was this officer trying to restrain Reiman from his assaults on Monte?
Unfortunately, one of the main problems we have with entrenched racist policing is: police usually aid-and-abet the horrible criminal actions of other cops against Black people. Time and again, instead of accountability and transparency, we get nothing but idiotic excuses from police brass and their unions. Prosecutors, judges, and the courts, collaborate to concoct “justice” in favor of sadistic murderous killer-cops. Politicians, both Black and White, Republicans—and, yes Democrats too—give their blessings to the continued abuse of Black America by their scandalous silence and immoral inaction.
We now have over 20 Democrats running for the American Presidency. The latest on this list is Mayor Bill de Blasio. Recently, de Blasio criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for his support of the 1994 crime bill, which led to more mass incarceration of Black Americans. While Biden should be criticized for this, Mayor de Blasio is living in a glass house himself and is hardly the one who should be throwing stones at Biden. De Blasio was elected largely with the support of Blacks and Latinos, who were told this “progressive” would change racial policing in New York. But besides some window-dressing, de Blasio has backtracked from his police policy promises.
What is the Democratic Party’s message with regards to racial policing? How can we know when these professional politicians pretend like this issue, which wrecks so many Black lives, and families, doesn’t exist?
Which of these Democrats, now running to be president, have you heard say anything about the ongoing police brutality Blacks face? Black Democrats are not much better. When it come to this issue, these pretensive “rule of law” politicians see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
What does Black America need to do to loosen their tongues and jawbones? We need to remember what just happened in last November’s election. We must remember why we now have prosecutors and politicians like Wesley Bell, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and others. Many of these folks assumed power after entrenched establishment figures were primaried out of office. More of this must take place for us to get the change we need in policing.
Black America needs to send its own separate message to Democrats: that those who continue to refuse to speak out against institutional racism in policing will have short political careers.