White South Jersey Cop Who Casually Pepper-Sprayed Black Teen Is Banned From Holding Any Public Job In the State

As part of a deal, Ryan Dubiel pleaded guilty to simple assault and received a year's probation — plus a lifetime ban from any taxpayer-funded job in Jersey. Now can we get a national police misconduct database?

screen shots from a video of Ryan Dubiel deploying pepper spray against a Black teen who was just sitting on a step

Screenshots from a video of Ryan Dubiel deploying pepper spray against a Black teen who was just sitting on a step.

Back in June, we told you about Ryan Dubiel, the white Woodlynne police officer who was caught on video pepper-spraying a Black teen who wasn’t doing anything but sitting on a step. We’ve now learned the fate of that officer. According to the Camden County prosecutor’s office, Dubiel, 32, pleaded guilty on Thursday to simple assault. His sentence? One year of probation. As part of the plea deal, Dubiel is prohibited from holding any public-office job in New Jersey, including that of police officer. According to the prosecutor’s office, Dubiel wasn’t fired. Instead, he agreed to resign.

The incident in question took place on June 4th. Dubiel and his partner wound up on a small residential block in Woodlynne (it’s a 10-minute drive from the Ben Franklin Bridge), reportedly because somebody on the block smelled marijuana. Dubiel questioned a group of Black people he founding sitting on some steps. And then, as seen in this disturbing video, Dubiel casually whips out a can of pepper spray and starts spraying.

See for yourself:

“With this resolution, there is a guarantee to the public that this individual will not serve in any position of public trust in Camden County or anywhere else in the state,” acting Camden County prosecutor Jill S. Mayer said in a statement on Thursday. “We hope this serves as a reminder that no one is above the law and we take all accusations and abuses of power seriously.”

Mayer’s office reviewed the above bystander footage of the incident as well as body-camera video.

Dubiel may not be allowed to be a cop anywhere else in New Jersey, but it’s worth pointing out that this was the ninth police department he’d worked for, despite his relative youth, according to a New York Times review of the case. The Times also discovered that Dubiel had racked up multiple infractions throughout his brief career.

In other words, Dubiel’s story makes a strong case for a national police misconduct database — something that activists and some politicians have been calling for. In the meantime, we just hope that any police department that comes across his application googles the name “Ryan Dubiel.”

Dubiel’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.