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Officer Down: Officer Killed by Drunk Driver

Our Justice System is Failing Society



Bill's Point of View

On February 15 (2009) Gloucester City Police received a call that Christopher Demunguia, 35, a suspect who was wanted on a $50,000 warrant for an Aggravated Assault charge, was sitting in a bar located on King Street.

Notebook_and_pen According to the weekly police report Gloucester City Ptl. Little and Ptl. Wall approached the male to place him under arrest and the male attempted to assault Ptl. Little.  The male then assaulted Ptl. Wall and a struggle ensued.  Demunguia was taken into custody in short order.

Demunguia was charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Contempt.  After being treated and released from Virtua Hospital he was remanded to Camden County Jail on $75,000 bail.

Demunguia appeared Thursday, February 19 in Camden County Superior Criminal Court before Judge Thomas Brown. The judge reduced Demunguia $75,000 full cash bail to 10% which allowed his immediate release from jail for the small amount of $7,500. 

Demunguia, who has been described by sources in the police department as a violent career criminal, is back walking the streets of Gloucester City. “This is not only very dangerous to society, but even more dangerous for any Police Officer that comes in contact with him,” said the source. 

City Police Lt. George Berglund was asked to comment on Demunguia release?

“We think it is a disgrace that the bail was reduced to 10% to allow Demunguia to post bail and get out on two aggravated assault charges.  He is a violent individual with an extensive record and he is allowed to go free.  The system is screwed up when someone on a non-violent offence is committed to jail and yet this type of individual is allowed to go free.  I know that I speak for the
entire department when saying it is certainly an outrage that these types of individuals are given bail reductions so quickly,” said Berglund.

Judge Brown was contacted Friday, February 20, 2009 for a response on Berglund's remarks. His secretary said she would give the judge the message. As of this writing the judge has not returned our call.

Officer Bill Johnson Jr., Gloucester City PBA President, was asked for his thoughts, “I have no idea why a judge would release him.  Look over the river in Philadelphia and you will see that police officers are being murdered by violent, repeat, career criminals, not by guys with clean rap sheets. Our justice system is failing us.  These judges need to start deterring people from attacking police officers; the only way to do that is to start sentencing offenders to prison instead of slapping them on the wrist”.

Sgt. Steve Burkhardt, assistant information officer for the police department said, “Unfortunately, assaults on police officers are becoming more and more common.  Just here in Gloucester City we have had (5) police officers assaulted in the past (3) weeks.  The reality of the situation is this is the world we live in today.  We all signed up for this job knowing this and we accept that fact.  This is what we do.  What we don't accept is being hung out to dry by the court system.  The perception by many judges, and I've seen it first hand, is that we should expect to be assaulted because of our job and therefore, we should not be offended or surprised.  We should at least be offered the same rights any other citizen who may be assaulted.  It is fine for us to accept the fact and be prepared, however, no judge has the right to offer that opinion.  At least until THEY walk the walk.”

On Friday, February 20 the funeral services for Philadelphia Police Officer John Pawlowski, age 25, were held. He is the seventh Philly officer to be killed in the line of duty in that City in the past 18 months. John leaves behind his wife who is five months pregnant. Commissioner Ramsey said the suspect that shot the officer, Rasheed Scruggs, 33, is a career criminal.

One wonders when our judicial system will stop favoring the repeat offender and start protecting society from these gangsters.

We the taxpayers and citizens as well as supporters of police need to speak out and stand up to the liberal judges, lawyers and confront those legislatures who write the laws but don't enforce them. Demand that judges who favor the career criminal are removed from the bench.

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want the job of police officer for all the money in the world. Thank God we have people like them who are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect you and me.

Say a prayer for the officers here in Gloucester City and across the country. Ask God to keep them safe from harm.

If you would like to contribute to the Pawlowski family fund the address is P/O John Pawlowski Family Trust, 1336 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia PA 19123.

Feather ~Bill Cleary

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