Anonymous Releases Names of Vineland Cops Involved in Phillip White Death
Earlier this week, a YouTube user associated with the hacker group Anonymous released a video threatening the Vineland Police Department and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office over the March 31st death of Vineland resident Phillip White, who died while in police custody. And now, Anonymous has made good on some of those threats.
Anonymous released the names of two police officers directly involved with White’s arrest — Rich Janasiak and Louis Platania — as well as the name of police officer Jeffrey Travaline, who can be seen on video footage of the arrest requesting a witness’ cell phone. The officers’ home addresses and phone numbers were also published. The group also hacked into some law enforcement sites in New Jersey, taking them offline temporarily, and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department site was still down as of 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday. And the group claims that it “fax bombed” the Vineland mayor’s fax machine.
— LulzSaints. (@LulzSaints) April 7, 2015
The Vineland Police Department also released the names of Janasiak and Platania, both of whom are on administrative leave. The department has also released audio from the incident, including police and emergency radio recordings as well as a 911 call, but Police Chief Tim Codispoti maintains that the audio was released not in reaction to Anonymous’ threats but in response to Open Public Records Act requests.
On March 31st, police responded to a call about a disorderly person. They found White, who was acting “erratic” and who reached for one of the police officers’ guns, according to attorneys for the cops. Witnesses have claimed that the cops were punching White and that a K-9 dog was biting him in the face while he was laying on the ground. White’s family is demanding an independent investigation, and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is looking into White’s death.
The 911 caller referred to a man “freaking out” and said, “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with him.” On another recording, a cop can be heard saying that White tried to take his gun.
White was transported to the hospital for “respiratory distress,” and doctors declared him dead by the time he got to the hospital.
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