Police Abuse

New Jersey Police Slashed a Man's Tires and Smashed His Window After He Filed a Complaint Against Them

Two officers pleaded guilty after vandalizing cars belonging to a civilian who filed a complaint against them.


Two New Jersey police officers pleaded guilty this week to fourth-degree criminal mischief charges stemming from the retaliation they took against a city resident who filed an internal affairs complaint against them in September 2019.

On Tuesday, Asbury Park police officer Stephen Martinsen and former city Special Law Enforcement Officer Thomas Dowling admitted to vandalizing vehicles belonging to Ernest Mignoli after he filed an internal affairs complaint against them with the police department, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The pair smashed a window on one of Mignoli's vehicles and used a knife to slash tires on that vehicle and another, inflicting $500 worth of damage.

Mignoli told New Jersey 101.5 that a few days before his vehicles were vandalized, he had filed a complaint after seeing a drunk officer riding an electric scooter and performing tricks on a sidewalk outside of a bar frequented by police. In a 2019 interview, Mignoli described himself as an "outspoken critic of Asbury Park Police Department" and says he has documented multiple instances of what he believes to be inappropriate behavior carried out by local police. 

When the charges against Martinsen and Dowling were announced last year, the prosecutor's office told the Asbury Park Press it could not speak to the nature of the administrative complaint, but said the police officers wore disguises on the night they damaged Mignoli's property. Martinsen was initially suspended without pay while Dowling was terminated.

"Spiteful retaliation from law enforcement officers towards a citizen for any reason is an unacceptable option," said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni in the Tuesday statement. "This is in no way condoned at any level, for any reason."

Asbury Park Police Chief David Kelso, who previously denounced the officers' lack of "professionalism," told Reason, "These officers were held accountable for their actions and misconduct and we will continue to hold our officers responsible to build upon the trust of the community that we serve."

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  1. Remember that over 80% of cops voted for Trump.

    1. Doesn’t really seem relevant here.

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  2. Just a couple union guys having a little fun; nothing to see here, move along.
    Or else.

    1. As long as the dues get paid it’s all good.

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  4. Does the RICO act apply?

  5. Back the blue!


  6. A set of tires is more than $500.

    1. The article didn’t say how many tires were slashed, but the replacement of a window could easily cover a few hundred dollars. It many places, causing more than a specified amount of damages makes it a felony.
      Wanna bet the D.A. went easy on them to avoid that? If it was you doing it, they would throw making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and maybe toss in a hate crime or two. And since it was done with a knife, you were armed at the time.

      It’s not just a problem with police, the prosecutors need to do their job as well.

  7. Badlands! Whoa whoa whoa whoa

    1. Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ

  8. I hope they act more professional at their next police department.

    1. Which will be the same one they’re currently with. We have procedures and all in NJ.

      1. No, they will go to an unbiased arbitrator who will point out it was a small amount of damages and all the crimes were missdemeanors. So firing is too harsh. 2 weeks no pay, and you have to hire them back with 10 weeks back pay (or whatever it was).

        1. what? you’re fucking defending this?

          1. No, he’s mocking the bullshit “investigate themselves” rules cops operate under.

  9. They will probably form a corporation and offer IT services in setting up the database to track misbehaving officers, citing their expertise.

  10. Okay, undeniably the police were in the wrong, should be charged and sentenced appropriately, and never work in law enforcement again. That out of the way:

    “Mignoli told New Jersey 101.5 that a few days before his vehicles were vandalized, he had filed a complaint after seeing a drunk officer riding an electric scooter and performing tricks on a sidewalk outside of a bar frequented by police.”

    “People I don’t like are having fun in public, so I’m going to file a complaint!” Shut the fuck up, Karen.

    1. Yep. This is why we have shame, and why we have laws, and why they’re different.

    2. Was he on duty? Because if a police officer was doing that on duty, that could be a good reason for a complaint. If he wasn’t on duty, he should still get at least a stern warning from his supervisor to not go out drinking in uniform because the public has no way to know if a uniformed officer is on duty or not.

    3. I’m sorry, but I have no patience for people who make up rules – or the people who enforce those rules – breaking the rules.

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  11. New Jersey… The cesspool of police and political corruption that can make any other state in the nation look like the shining star or morality and ethics by comparison.
    If you have a two digit IQ & have the personality of a sociopathic megalomaniac, New Jersey is always taking applications. Of course you just have to get past the mind boggling nepotism.

  12. So why do Democrats keep hiring these guys?

  13. Too local

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  15. So they got probation and had to pay for the damage.

    How about some jail time or at least a long period of community service?

    1. Are you kidding? Cops get killed in prison.

      At least, that’s what every defense attorney worth his salt would tell the judge.

  16. This is a perfect illustration of the pronounced decline in The People’s Republic of NJ. It is not enough for the government to just restrict and deny your civil rights….now they attack ordinary citizens who are guilty of ‘Wrongthink’ and highlight their corruption.

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  18. Cops emulating peaceful protestors.

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  24. I hope they are no longer cops.

  25. Did I miss something. Are these guys still employed?

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