Ryan Dubiel, 31, directed pepper spray at people “without provocation” when responding to a trespassing call, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
The cop and several of his colleagues were called to a home on 4 June from a property owner nearby who thought a group of people sitting on the front stoop of a home were trespassing.
When responding to the call, the officers asked the young black men on the home’s porch their names, many of whom refused. Dubiel then asked a teenager looking at his phone on the porch to place his hands behind his head, but he said he was texting his brother.
This then prompted Dubiel to spray the young man with pepper spray before spraying other people on the porch. Bodycam footage also showed the officer chasing another person while spraying the irritant.
The bodycam footage showing the incident was worn by Dubiel, prosecutors said.
The office added the people sprayed by the officer “were not observed physically resisting or attempting to harm others or themselves”.
Dubiel was charged with two counts of assault after prosecutors reviewed the footage of him spraying a teenager and his 20-year-old friend.
The Attorney General Gurbir Grewal revealed that Dubiel had been with the department for 10 months and previously worked at nine other police departments.
The attorney general said Dubiel also previously faced misconduct at his other departments, proving why a statewide police licensing program was necessary.
“Just as we license doctors, nurses, and lawyers, we must ensure that all officers meet baseline standards of professionalism,” Grewal said in a statement. “Officers who fail to meet those standards cannot be passed from one police department to another while posing a threat to the public and other officers.”
Dubiel is now suspended from the Woodlynne Police Department without pay.