NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A video posted to the internet on June 10 shows a woman being forced to the ground by three city police officers near the intersection of Easton Avenue and Condict Street.
Police on the scene told bystanders to “Get back, I don’t want to knock you over,” as the woman was taken down by officers and arrested.
Members of the crowd shouted “Assault on a black woman,” and “Look at what he did,” as the woman was being held down by officers on the sidewalk.
NBPD Captain J.T. Miller, the police department’s public information officer, asked to view the video and forwarded it to the NBPD’s Internal Affairs Division, which he also commands.
“Thank you for forwarding me the video,” Miller wrote. “I have instructed the Internal Affairs Unit to review the video along with the totality of the incident at hand. Unfortunately I can not comment any further at this time on an internal affairs investigation.”
The original video of the incident in New Brunswick was posted by activist Tormel Pittman, who wrote, “[There’s] a rise of attacks on black females by law enforcement.”
The video surfaced just days after a Texas police officer was captured on video using excessive force on a 14-year-old black girl. The officer, Eric Casebolt, grabbed the head of, tackled and held down the girl at a pool party, and also pointed his handgun at two unarmed boys.
The 16-second video has been viewed almost 500 times on YouTube alone. It was also posted to Facebook and shared over 300 times.
The incident occurred near Giovanelli’s, a pizza place that is open late and often attracts a crowd after last call at the nearby bars. Police increased their presence at the corner in 2012 after complaints from City Councilman Kevin Egan.
Parisha Matchett, the woman seen thrown and forced to the sidewalk by three male officers in the video, was transported to police headquarters, according to police radio transmissions.
She may have also been taken to the hospital, according to police radio transmissions.
As of June 11, Matchett was incarcerated at Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center, held on $50,000 bail and charged with aggravated assault, according to the records department at the jail.
According to police radio transmissions, police began converging on the area after an officer said he was “out with” a vehicle containing two occupants at the intersection of Easton and Condict.
It’s not clear if the woman arrested was one of them, but a grey Toyota Corolla was towed away from the scene around the same time an arrest was made.
An analysis of the NBPD radio transmissions reveals that, before the incident captured on video, additional NBPD officers were in the area near the intersection writing parking tickets.
“When you’re ready just head over right in front of Giovanelli’s and clear them out of the way, cause they’re blocking the sidewalk now,” said one officer to another.
A few minutes later, the officers called for additional backup.
“We have everybody responding from headquarters,” said a dispatcher at about 2:19am. “I’m gonna get Rutgers to help out…. Alright, I got Rutgers responding as well over there.”
At 2:21am, one officer gets on the radio to say, “We have one in custody. One adult female in custody.”
Two minutes later, a woman can be heard saying, “You better stop f*cking with me.”
Another officer stated that he was transporting one intoxicated female at 2:24am.
Two minutes after that, an ambulance was dispatched to the scene to treat someone who had been sprayed with mace. The ambulance was redirected to “back to headquarters” by an officer on scene.
At approximately 2:51AM, an officer reported that the “crowd from Giovanelli’s” was outside the Emergency Room at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where an officer was on what was described as being assigned to “prisoner watch.”
“You got a crowd from Giovanelli’s outside the ER there,” says one officer on the radio.
Another unit responded at about 2:52am that they had just passed by, but that they would “swing back around” to address the crowd.
At approximately 2:57am, Emergency Medical Services arrived at the secured entrance at police headquarters, known as the sally port.
“She’s complaining of arm pain,” said one officer at 3:03am. It’s not clear if the ambulance was for Matchett or another person.
Molly O'Brien started writing for New Brunswick Today as a freelance reporter in February 2013.
Molly writes stories on government, arts, free events, bilingual events, education and more.
Molly graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in French Linguistics and Linguistics, where she also studied Writing and Journalism. Molly also graduated Rutgers Law School.
She is open to any suggestions for stories or tips. You may contact her via text at 732-743-8993.