OUTRAGE: NJ Cop Puts CBS 2 Cameraman In Chokehold
Jim Quodomine Arrested, Handcuffed, Put In Squad Car For An Hour After Filming Peaceful Protest Outside Church
Officer To Protesting Reporter: 'I Can Do Whatever I Want'

CBS 2 | October 27, 2008

NEWARK (CBS) - After a week of bloody shootings in the city of Newark, family members of the victims killed by gun violence marched in front of churches Sunday to ask the clergy for help.

The march ended, however, when a Newark police officer put a CBS 2 photographer in a choke hold, handcuffed him, and put him in the back of a police car.

What started as a peaceful demonstration by parents whose children were murdered on the streets of Newark turned violent.

"Put your hands behind your back," the officer said. "He's going with me. Put your hands behind your back."

When CBS 2 HD's reporter on the scene, Christine Sloan, protested and said he couldn't arrest the cameraman, the officer said, "I can do whatever I want."

The camera kept rolling, as the officer put CBS 2 photographer Jim Quodomine in the choke hold and placed him under arrest.

Witnesses took pictures of the incident and told CBS 2 HD what they saw.

"He went to put the camera down," witness Latrice Smith said. "Before he had the opportunity to [do so], the police officer came and knocked it down.

"[The officer] just started grabbing him, putting handcuffs on him, grabbed him by the neck," Smith said. "It was out of control for no reason."

"I couldn't believe how they grabbed him," another witness said.

The officer left Quodomine in a cruiser for almost an hour.

Bus Councilwoman Mildred Crump, who was there attending church services, pushed for Quodomine's release and spoke to the officer.

"I did show him the picture of your cameraman, who was cuffed and [placed in] what appeared to be a choke hold," Crump said. "[The officer's] side of the story is he had asked him not to do it, and when he persisted that he just wouldn't take it anymore."

CBS 2 HD's photographer was not trespassing, as he was shooting the story on public property.

The Newark Police Department is not commenting.

The officer even threatened to arrest CBS 2 HD's Sloan.

"[This is] none of your business," the officer said. "Stay away or you'll be sitting in the car."

"One of the reasons we said we need to release your cameraman is because you have a constitutional right to videotape what is going on," Crump said.

The Newark Police Department says it won't comment until they look at all the facts.

In the meantime, Councilwoman Crump says she will ask for an investigation.

Quodonine was issued a summons for disorderly conduct, and CBS 2 HD News plans on fighting the summons in court.