TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that a criminal charge has been filed against a senior correctional police officer at Mid-State Correctional Facility who allegedly falsified two New Jersey Department of Corrections reports concerning his unauthorized use of oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, commonly known as “pepper spray,” against an inmate.
Jovanny Galindo, 32, of Neptune City, N.J., was charged yesterday, Sept. 3, 2020, by complaint-summons with third-degree conspiracy to tamper with public records or information. The charge is the result of a joint investigation by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division and the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
On June 16, 2020, Galindo, a Senior Correctional Police Officer at Mid-State Correctional Facility, allegedly confronted a seated inmate and sprayed OC spray into the face of the inmate without any apparent justification. In the “special custody report” and “use of force report” Galindo filed on the incident, he stated that the inmate ignored an order, became argumentative, and verbally threatened Galindo, which prompted him to use the spray. It is alleged that Galindo’s statements in the reports were false and his use of force against the inmate was not authorized under the Department of Corrections’ Use of Force Policy.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by the OPIA Corruption Bureau. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division for its work on the investigation.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined