March 21, 2014
Internal Affairs Unit
Burlington Township Police Department
851 Old York Rd
Burlington, NJ 08016
via e-mail only to
Dear Sir or Madam:
I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project and ask that you accept this letter as our Internal Affairs complaint. We would like your agency to investigate whether Sergeant David Brintzinghoffer (as well as any other officers and personnel employed by your agency) acted in accordance with department policy and the law regarding a July 5, 2006 incident involving Demetrius Cope.
According to the Appellate Division's March 21, 2014 decision in State v. Demetrius C. Cope, Docket No. A-2165-11T3 (on-line here), Sergeant Brintzinghoffer conducted an unconstitutional "protective sweep" of Cope's apartment that resulted in him finding a firearm in "plain view." The Appellate Division ultimately ruled that the firearm is inadmissible because it was "discovered and seized as a result of a warrantless search that did not fall into any of the recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement."
If Sergeant Brintzinghoffer, despite having received adequate training and direction regarding when and how to conduct warrantless searches elected to ignore his training, we ask that you discipline him. Otherwise, we ask that your department review and supplement your training requirements in this area of the law.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Very truly yours,
John Paff, Chairman
New Jersey Libertarian Party
Police Accountability Project
03/25/14 - Lt. James Sullivan acknowledged receipt of complaint. Click here.