Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hearing this Friday: Curious incident involving Voorhees Police

On the evening of December 30, 2009, several alarmed citizens called 911 to report that a civilian female was beating up a uniformed Voorhees police officer who was in his patrol car in the Borough of Gibbsboro (Camden County). The audio of those phone calls, as well as police communications regarding this incident are on-line here.

Further investigation revealed that the officer allegedly being beaten was Voorhees Police Officer Richard Taylor and that alleged female assailant was his wife Tracy Taylor. After the incident, Gibbsboro Patrolman Ryan E. Marrlow filed simple assault charges against Ms. Taylor. Those charges were later dismissed.

I heard rumors that a) Officer Taylor had violated police regulations by conducting personal business in Gibbsboro immediately prior to the incident instead of being on duty in Voorhees and b) officials in both Gibbsboro and Voorhees may have not properly investigated Taylor's conduct regarding this incident. In order to test the veracity of this information, I requested records from Gibbsboro, Voorhees and Camden County.

Not surprisingly, I was denied access to many of the records I sought including a) the radio transmission that Officer Taylor made during or immediately after the incident, b) Taylor's "shift log" showing his activity immediately prior to and after the incident, c) mobile data transmissions between other Voorhees police regarding the incident and d) the incident report prepared by Gibbsboro Police.

OPRA attorney Walter Luers filed a lawsuit on my behalf against Voorhees Township and Gibbsboro Borough as well as members of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office and Officer Taylor and his wife. (Paff v. Borough of Gibbsboro, et al, Docket No. CAM-L-4044-11)

The matter is set down for an Order to Show Cause hearing on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9 a.m., before Camden County Assignment Judge Francis J. Orlando at 101 South 5th Avenue, Camden.

Voorhees, Gibbsboro, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office and the Taylors have all filed opposition to my suit. My lawsuit, the opposition and all other related paperwork is on-line here.

The public and media are welcome to come and observe this suit. Anyone wishing to attend should call Judge Orlando's office at 856-379-2355 on Thursday afternoon to verify that the hearing has not been adjourned.

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