Black leaders call for termination of Paterson cop accused of unprovoked attack on upset father | Paterson Times

Black leaders call for termination of Paterson cop accused of unprovoked attack on upset father


African American leaders on Friday called for the termination of a Paterson police officer accused of viciously attacking an upset father.

Police officer Spencer Finch, 44, of Mahwah, should be permanently removed from the police force, said the leaders, who were shocked by the video of the incident that was released earlier in the week.

“I think it’s appropriate to call for his termination,” said pastor Kenneth Clayton, who is also president of the Paterson NAACP. “The body camera footage clearly shows he was acting inappropriately. We have to have zero tolerance for behavior like this in our police force.”

Finch has been charged with official misconduct, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and tampering with public records or information over the May 26 incident.

Mayor Andre Sayegh released the video of the incident on Wednesday. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office had declined to release the bodycam video in response to a Paterson Times request on June 16.

The video shows the victim in a narrow hallway, deep in an argument with someone about his children.

“It’s the third time she took my f—ing kids from me, man,” the man is heard saying in the video. “Why do you think I’m here like this!”

“Come on. Just relax,” an unidentified officer tells the victim.

“Dawg, are you a father?” asks the victim.

“No,” replies the officer.

“You’re not a father. You don’t understand, my nigga. This is the third time my kids have been taken from me.”

“Yelling ain’t gonna help,” remarks the officer.

The officer allows the victim to vent his anger.

Finch suddenly approaches the victim. He strikes the victim in the face with his hand, hits him multiple times with an unauthorized flashlight, and knees him in the face after he has been handcuffed.

“Please stop! Please stop! Please stop!” a woman is heard saying in the video as Finch attacks the victim.

“Stop resisting,” a voice is heard saying in the video.

“I’m not resisting,” says the victim.

Finch allegedly filed a false police report to cover up his crimes, according to authorities.

“I am calling for termination,” said John Givens, pastor at the Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church. “This is not his first episode. Should we wait until he kills somebody?”

Finch, who has been with the police force for almost 18 years, has been named in multiple police brutality lawsuits over the years.

“We want a message sent from the administration that they will not tolerate this type of action any longer. We want the immediate termination of officer Finch,” said Ernest Rucker, head of Save the Village.

Rucker attacked the practice of letting criminally charged police officers return to work after a 30-day suspension. He said that practice, outlined in the police labor contract, should cease.

The mayor said his administration is doing everything possible to “separate” Finch from the police force.

“This officer has been charged, suspended without pay, and the city is vigorously pursuing the avenues available to separate him from the police department,” said Sayegh on Friday.

Councilman Michael Jackson said the victim’s mother contacted him right after the incident. He said the victim was “wrongfully” jailed after the incident.

“We don’t need any person with that kind of mentality on this police force,” said Jackson. He said the officer, who was initially at the scene, should be criminally charged as well for failure to intervene when Finch began to attack the victim.

But it was that officer’s bodycam footage that captured the attack which allowed the Passaic County prosecutor to file charges against Finch.

“How many times did this guy do this and it was never reported? I don’t think this was the first time. He was too comfortable,” said school board member Corey Teague.

Teague said Paterson has good police officers. Finch isn’t one of them, he said. Finch is the 11th police officer charged for violating people’s civil rights since 2018.

Finch spent five days in jail after he was arrested. Passaic County assistant prosecutor Peter Foy filed a motion to keep Finch in jail until the charges were resolved. A judge granted Finch release from jail after a detention hearing last Wednesday.

Finch’s attorney Anthony Iacullo could not be reached for comments for this story.

Email: [email protected]

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  • J. Brown.

    Chauvin part 2.
    Only when the city is Burning will they
    Consider doing something about
    This rogue cop and his partner.

  • Paterson Resident

    FBI let's GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Any other cop on scene should be arrested also!!!!!!

  • Maynard

    You need to get rid of Spencer Finch! You don't need a BARNEY BADASS like him around.

    • HankMorgan


  • Mike Miller

    Finch needs to be tossed in the gen pop and given no special protection.

  • Smith_90125

    Another reason cops should be guilty until proven innocent.

  • #fuckblm #fuckmarxism

    Skinny crackhead had it coming. Hope the cop wins the lottery!

    • HankMorgan

      Get lost, moron.

    • Sinfully Wright

      Ok, Thumbelina.

    • NY Bodega Nigga

      You're sad awww, yeah hes getting the book thrown at him lmao. Be more mad. :)

    • Vindicated

      Hey spencer is that you??? Scumbag, stay living in mahwah!

  • HankMorgan

    This sadistic freak has been terrorizing Paterson residents for years. He must go.

  • Resident41

    I guess he forgot what year we are on. Not too long ago it was usual for these nazies with badges to beat up people just for their skin color around this city and their bodies used to back them up, if you had a tan you where getting it. I guess not anymore

  • John

    Why would any white officer in the right state of mind want to patrol a black neighborhood. You already have 3 strikes against you. Reverse racism.

    • Sinfully Wright

      Yet you LIVE to comment on black neighborhood goings-on!!! Invest in longer skirts, sis..your self loathing is showing.

    • NY Bodega Nigga

      because if they patrol all white neighborhoods they have to deal with mass shooters, black neighborhoods looking pretty safe compared to that.

      • John

        I'm Hispanic but not stupid like you.

        • NY Bodega Nigga

          -strawberry picker

    • Mike Corleone

      Honestly, the technique should of been, let him vent for a few minutes. Talk calmly. Tell him you're on his side and understand, but we'd like to get control of ourselves and gather our focus on the situation.
      I think we all need to calm down a bit or this world won't last.
      Pretty chaotic times if you ask me.

      • HankMorgan

        He looked like he was trying to maintain an outward semblance of calm but when he’s accused of being unable to understand what a father feels for his children he explodes in rage.
        Big psychological reveal. Finch has daddy issues. And definitely a good thing he isn’t a parent.

        • Mike Corleone

          He lives in Mahwah. I know people from Mahwah. Very wealthy township, with virtually zero street crime. He probably does have children. And a wife. All safe and secure in their Mahwah home, while he's a corrupt cop abusing his authority & people in Paterson, while getting paid handsomely to do so.
          He was a criminal with a badge. Like most Paterson cops and Passaic County Sheriff's Officers have always been.
          Let's just hope justice prevails and Finch is served some decent time and penalties, and the victim/ father in this case gets paid a nice sum of money when it's all done and said.

          • HankMorgan

            Freak cop douchebags like Finch are a dime a dozen in New Jersey cities and small towns alike. The worst Nazis are the detectives and investigators. Some of them barely see the light of day. Their “work” is comprised of applying a number of dirty tricks to simply undermine the lives of individuals in the community whom they regularly target.
            In Pompton Lakes there was a low ranking degenerate detective sergeant by the name of Seifreid. He spent his entire career delighting in torturing “his” targeted subjects with verbal and physical abuse. Despite being well aware of this incompetent everyone in town from the judge (another piece of work, Judy Accardi) to the mayor and the business administrator let him free to abuse whom ever he pleased. This POS now lives a comfortable retirement. If his wife or neighbors had any idea…

  • John

    Officers stop responding to calls to low lives

  • J. Brown.

    The city will offer this POS! a large buyout
    Package to leave .plus his full pension.
    And will charge the victim wit assault.
    Unless he drops the charges.abdbnot purse a lawsuit against the city or the P.D.
    this is how things operate in Paterson.

  • Marvin M.

    Spencer Finch, the out-of-control officer in this video, should be fired and fully charged <i>to the same extent</i> they would if the roles were reversed. Had <i>any</i> person other than a Patterson police officer butalized, restrained and battered that man's face in the manner we see in this body cam footage they would be facing decades in prison. Indeed, the singular act of beating an unarmed victim with the illegal flashlight-turned-weapon he was carrying is a major felony that would send any other (civilian) person to prison for a very, very long time. It's worth noting that it is incidents like this that are fueling the national discussion on not only ending qualified immunity but reforming police and sheriff departments (from the top down) across the country.

    • John

      What world do u live in? U win the estupido reward.

    • Mike Corleone

      You win the brilliant 'award'