Protesters support police officer who shot NJ man
Back the Blue protestors hold signs in support of law enforcement officers as they give thumbs up to drivers Sunday along Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, in front of the Comfort Suites. The protest was organized after South Whitehall Township Police Officer Jonathan Roselle, of Parryville, shot and killed Joseph “Joey” Santos of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in the early evening hours of July 28 in front of the hotel. Santos allegedly failed to follow commands to get down on the ground and was seen interfering with traffic on Hamilton Boulevard. SUSAN BRYANT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Back the Blue Facebook group supporters came out to show their support for law enforcement officers and protest in favor for South Whitehall Township Police Officer Jonathan Roselle Sunday at the entrance to the Comfort Suites on Hamilton Boulevard in South Whitehall Township.
The protest, which was organized by Cory Fatzinger of New Tripoli, was started in support of Roselle, who shot and killed Joseph “Joey” Santos of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in the early evening hours of July 28 in front of the hotel.
Roselle, who lives in Parryville, shot Santos after he allegedly failed to follow commands to get down on the ground and was seen interfering with traffic on Hamilton Boulevard.
“We are supporting Officer Jonathan Roselle and all law enforcement officers,” Fatzinger said during the protest.
“The cops are here to do the job that most can’t.”
The protest, for the most part was peaceful, until around 3:30 p.m. when a woman, Valerie Chambers of Allentown, showed up and began arguing with Mike Cepress of Whitehall about the shooting and protest
“All you want to do is divide America,” she said to Cepress after calling him blue ISIS.
Cepress could be heard responding to Chambers, “You are promoting hatred.”
Before Chambers was escorted from the area by friends, two other verbal arguments ensued, and three Upper Macungie Police officers arrived on the scene.
“There are no winners in this,” retired South Whitehall Township Police Sgt. Jeffery Natysyn said before the protest began.
Other protestors who commented about the incident. Ronald Angstaet, of Allentown, said the first thing he thought of when he heard about Roselle shooting Santos was the Route 33 incident.
“I am here to support officer Roselle,” Angstaet said. “All he was doing was his job.”
“Officer Roselle was following his law enforcement training to protect his gun and the public,” Ron Chaplin, of South Whitehall, said.
Mary Summers Storm, of Palmerton, said, “We support law and order in South Whitehall Township.”
“I am all for police protecting me,” Janice Smith, of Dorneyville, said.