Video of Jeffrey Michel’s arrest on the Brookdale campus last month. (Video by Vincent Cordero)
By JOHN T. WARD
The viral-video pepper-spray arrest of a Brookdale Community College student last month was done in “full compliance” with law enforcement guidelines, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office has concluded.
In fact, the officers involved might have been more aggressive in their arrest of Jeffrey Michel without overstepping guidelines established by the state Attorney General, an official in the professional responsibility unit of the prosecutor’s office wrote in a December 8 letter to Brookdale’s dean.
The video, posted on the Facebook page of Victor Cordero, has been viewed on Facebook more than 5.4 million times, and generated more than 9,100 comments.
It shows the arrest of Freehold resident Michel, 27, on November 14. Campus officials later said Michel was arrested “as the result of an ongoing investigation” and charged with harassment, obstruction, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The letter, from Assistant Acting Prosecutor Jacquelynn Seely to Dean Patricia Sensi, said the prosecutor’s office did not receive any formal complaints about the arrest, but opened an investigation “due to the dialog captured on the video and the postings on social media alleged that this incident constituted police brutality.”
In light of use-of-force guidelines employed by both the Attorney General’s office and the county prosecutor, Seely wrote:
The status of the charges against Michel was not immediately available Tuesday.
Here’s the full letter: ProsecutorsReviewLetter_12.8.14