An investigation into the circumstances behind a Black Lives Matter organizer being charged with assault following a scuffle on the Seaside Heights boardwalk this summer has found that police acted appropriately, but the charge will ultimately be dismissed.
Jamaal Holmes, 28, of Toms River, was charged after he and others marched on the Seaside Heights boardwalk Aug. 15. He had been charged with assaulting Robert Lay, a visitor to the boardwalk with whom he had exchanged words, “based upon the initial witness interviews conducted,” a statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Three days after the incident, the prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the entire event. The results of that investigation were announced Friday. Billhimer said in a statement that he personally reviewed “all relevant evidence” and ultimately determined that the Seaside Heights Police Department had probable cause to detain and arrest Holmes. The investigation concluded that none of the arresting officers acted criminally.
The prosecutor, however, also concluded that “sufficient credible evidence exists to create a reasonable doubt as to the state’s ability to prove the charge of simple assault beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The charge against Holmes will be administratively dismissed in the interest of justice Friday afternoon.