WATCH: Newark Cop Who Killed Man During a Bar Fight Gets 6 Years in Prison

Former Newark police officer Joseph Macchia, who drew his service weapon and shot a man to death two years ago while he was off-duty and drinking at a Union Township bar, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.

Macchia, an 11-year veteran of the police department, was convicted last month of of reckless manslaughter in the shooting death of Michael Gaffney, 37, of Piscataway.

“As a police officer he should have not drank in excess having six beers and two Jack Daniels in the time he was at the bar; and certainly should have not while he was armed,” Judge John M. Deitch said.

“He should have not brushed his pregnant wife aside as she was begging him to leave and physically trying to drag him away. He should not have ignored the pleas of literally the entire bar who were telling him to go.”

Before sentencing, Gaffney’s mother and daughter asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence, which would have been 10 years on his second-degree manslaughter charge.

“My dad was my protector,” his teen daughter Alexia Gaffney told the judge. “He took that protection, love and happiness from my heart.”

“Macchia makes a good cop look bad,” Gaffney’s mother Judy Valdes said outside Union County Superior Court.

The judge said during sentencing that Macchia has had a lack of remorse for killing Gaffney since the beginning of the trial, and that he was only sorry the event happened to him.

Deitch also called Macchia’s testimony inconsistent, and said the defense went out of its way to blame the victim.

James Stewart Jr., president of Newark Fraternal Order of Police, also weighed in on the sentencing.

“Although disappointed in the verdict by the jury, we respect their conclusion and hope that it brings a measure of closure to the Gaffney family,” Stewart said.

“Joe will pay a steep price for his actions that night, but we appreciate that Judge Deitch took into account Joe’s prior history and service to the community when he handed down the sentence.”

Gaffney and Macchia, 36, were acquaintances and got into an argument in the bar. Their fight turned physical for a few minutes. It ended, but flared back up again outside the bar.

During the fight, Macchia pulled out his gun and fatally shot Gaffney. A 911 caller reported hearing five shots, but Union County Prosecutor’s Office investigation determined there we’re four shots. Three of those four shots hit Gaffney.

Macchia, was not arrested after the shooting, and he was not identified by the Newark Police Department. His blood-alcohol level was tested, however, and he was found to be have .13, above the .08 legal limit for driving.

He was indicted on a manslaughter charge the following November, and was released on bail. He was on unpaid leave since his indictment.

Gaffney’s mother has been urging lawmakers to create and pass legislation making it a crime for a police officer to drink and carry a firearm. An online petition in support of “Gaffney’s Law” said it should be illegal for officers to carry a gun into a bar or anywhere they plan to drink. It was signed by more than 6,100 people, but no legislator has drafted the bill.

Source: https://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2018/07/ex-cop_who_shot_man_during_a_bar_fight_gets_6_year.html

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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