New Jersey Cop Allegedly Barged Into Councilman's Home, Pepper-Sprayed Entire Family

A New Jersey councilman has accused a police officer of barging into the politician's home and pepper-spraying his entire family after a reported family dispute.

An altercation occurred between Woodlynne Councilman Clyde Cook, Detective Edgar Feliciano and Officer Havier Acevado when the policemen responded to a 911 call made by Cook's teenage daughter after her cellphone and social media privileges were taken away for punishment, according to Cook.

Cook, who has a long-running dispute with Feliciano and his wife, a fellow council member, felt uncomfortable with Feliciano entering his home because Cook said the detective's body camera was not working, NJ.com reported.

Cook had asked Feliciano to request another officer to respond to the scene. Acevado, whose body camera was on, Cook said, spoke with Cook's daughter about why she had called 911.

Footage from Acevado's body camera shows both officers entering the family's home as the councilman attempted to block him.

Feliciano then drew his gun and pepper-sprayed Cook, his son, daughter and Cook's fiancée, Cook said. The body cam footage was difficult to see after the officers entered the home and did not illustrate Cook's account, according to NJ.com.

"Nothing made sense, but I knew that they were after us," Cook's son Timothy, 17, told NBC Philadelphia. "My main goal was trying to not get anybody hurt in the house."

According to police reports, Cook had tried to block the officers from entering his home before the altercation with Feliciano took place, and that Cook had struck Feliciano several times in the face with punches.

Cook's son and fiancée also face charges of assault and obstruction of justice, respectively.

"It was unjustified," Cook told NJ.com. "We had a parenting issue. My daughter had her social media restricted. It doesn't warrant coming into my house with gun drawn and pressing charges."

Newsweek contacted both Cook and the Woodlynne Police Department, but did not hear back in time for publication.

A friend of Timothy Cook organized a peaceful protest for Thursday evening at the Woodlynne Police Department.

"Please wear Collingswood HS colors of blue and gold to support Timothy, who is a 2020 Honors graduate!" a flier for the protest read.

The reported altercation between the Cooks and Feliciano was not the first publicized use of pepper spray by Woodlynne officers.

Officer Ryan Dubiel, 31, was charged with two counts of assault June 10 for pepper-spraying two teenagers without provocation after videos of the incident, which had occurred June 4, circulated social media.

Woodlynne Mayor Joseph Chukwueke announced July 1 that he intended to fire Dubiel, who had been suspended without pay before Dubiel was charged.

"We dealt with it the same day we viewed the video," Chukwueke said, according to NJ.com. "We suspended him with no pay even before the county came down with their investigation."

Footage of the June 4 incident from bystanders and police body cameras shows the white officer shooting his pepper spray at the two Black teenagers who authorities said were not resisting. Dubiel then chased the teens and sprayed them again, according to the footage.

Woodlynne was Dubiel's ninth police department since his career as an officer began. Dubiel had a history of troubling social media posts and a pattern of arrests that resulted in the injury of the suspect, The New York Times reported.

New Jersey remains one of only five states that does not grant a police officer a license that can be revoked for misconduct.

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