CAMDEN, NJ — That Camden City Councilwoman Shaneka Boucher reportedly indicated her official position and interfered during a police stop over the weekend was inappropriate, a police union official said Wednesday.
“I don’t have full details on everything that took place…but we have a strong internal affairs program in place in the police department,” President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 218, Rick Kunkel, told TAPinto Camden. “The way the councilwoman acted however, I think is borderline illegal, borderline obstructing an investigation.”
Two Camden residents - David Holmes and Derrick Gallashaw - were detained by police officers Saturday night while they idled in front of Gallashaw’s home in the waterfront south neighborhood.
After the pair was handcuffed and searched - including a K-9 search of the vehicle - they were ticketed with “loitering to commit.”
The men allege that the police stop was unnecessary, filing complaints with the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) - specifically referring to Officer Thang Ngo’s actions as a violation of their rights.
Ngo was not available for comment but Kunkel defended the steps he - and the other officers - took Saturday night.
First Ward Councilwoman Shaneka Boucher recorded the encounter and filed her own complaint - later saying that the incident failed to adhere to the positive community policing practices, which the department is known for.
Boucher declined to comment.
“If she felt the officer was not doing something that was right there’s an outlet for that to be properly handled,” Kunkel said. “If an off-duty police officer showed up at a stop and tried to use his authority to interfere with a stop, we would be held accountable for that. She’s an elected official, there’s a way to carry yourself.”
An internal affairs investigation surrounding Saturday’ police stop is currently underway, a county spokesman said earlier this week.