TUCKERTON - A Tuckerton Borough police officer who was acquitted of official misconduct in May is hoping to get back to work in the borough. Justin Cherry was acquitted of the charge by Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski, who ruled that the state did not prove that Cherry, on the night of Jan. 29, 2014, knowingly committed an unauthorized act with the intent to injure Wendy Tucker, a Barnegat woman who was driving without a license.
According to a number of PBA sources, Cherry responded to a call from a Tuckerton home with a resident claiming Wendy Tucker was not welcome at the home. He testified in court that he was aware that Tucker did not have a driver license, chose not issue a ticket and encouraged the woman to take a bus to return to her home in Barnegat. A few minutes later Cherry observed Tucker operating an automobile in the borough. The Barnegat Police was contaced and stopped the car in Barnegat. The woman refused to step out of the car and she refused to comply. The two Barnegat officers had their guns out and Tucker still would not come out of the car. At that point Cherry released his K-9 partner, Gunner. Judge Gizinski noted that the dog was unsuccessful at latching onto Tucker's jacket.
Officer Cherry was innocent of the official misconduct charges. Cherry's situation has raised much passion in his defense and support for his family. There is a Facebook page titled Justice for Justin Cherry. Click here if interested in reading.
NJ State PBA President Patrick Colligan released a statement on the NJ State PBA official facebook page on Monday evening.
The title reads, "OFFICER NEEDS HELP"
NJ PBA President Patrick Colligan
Below is President Colligan's statement and request for support for Officer Cherry.
The five year battle to return Officer Justin Cherry to his job is coming to a head and we need help.
Officer Cherry was acquitted of all charges by a Superior Court Judge in May. It was clear from the judge's ruling that it was an overzealous prosecution by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office that should never have taken place.
After being cleared by Superior Court Judge it was our hope he would be returned to work.
Remember, he has had no pay and his family home was lost to foreclosure.
Instead of putting this dedicated officer back to work, Tuckerton has chosen to commission a kangaroo court and go after him on administrative charges. Justin WILL eventually be reinstated!
His third day of "hearings" will be on Friday, August 30th.
The "prosecution" will be presenting its expert witness. We need as many people as possible at this hearing to make sure Tuckerton knows this injustice must end.
PLEASE COME - ACTIVE OFFICERS, RETIRED OFFICERS, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND ALL PEOPLE OUTRAGED BY THIS INJUSTICE
HEARING DATE -FRIDAY AUGUST 30th 9AM
LOCATION - 420 E. Main St. Tuckerton 08087
I certainly realize it's a holiday weekend but even stopping by for an hour or so would be a tremendous help!