Attorney for Vineland, police officers says video contradicts claims

CAMDEN – In refusing to dismiss a lawsuit over a deadly police encounter in Vineland, a federal judge late last year said videos of the incident did not clear accused officers.

But a lawyer for Vineland and the officers now contends the videos show enough to contradict an eyewitness who claimed police brutality preceded the death of 33-year-old Phillip White in March 2015.

In a pretrial motion, defense attorney Todd Gelfand last week said a statement to investigators by Augustin Ayala, who alleged officers punched a handcuffed and unconscious White, “is inconsistent with both videos which captured parts of the altercation.”

He asked U.S. District Judge Joshua Wolson to bar Ayala’s statement and to prevent him from testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs, White’s mother and his two children.

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