WATCH: New Jersey Cops Brag About Brutality on Body Cam

TRENTON, New Jersey – City cops are caught on tape cavalierly joking about employing excessive force during arrests and making fun of a gunshot victim who was in the hospital clinging to life after being blasted in the head.

All of it was captured by a body camera worn by supervising Trenton Police Sgt. Charles Lamin, who at one point tried to hush a diarrhea-mouth colleague by telling him, “I’m on camera.”

City police officer Tim Miller was undeterred, offering up advice to a less-experienced cop about how to successfully effectuate arrests.

“Major muscles groups,” the loud-mouthed officer bragged.

Showing police in their “natural habitat,” experts said, the cops’ gallows humor veered dangerously off course, and potentially revealed criminal conduct, when it was suggested the best way to get suspects to comply was to beat them into submission with flashlights.

Community activists, police accountability experts and lawyers were shocked by the casualness of the officers admitting how they potentially committed criminal assault on the job. Taken together with racist quips made by the police director, they said, it shows how Trenton officers view residents as “subhuman trash” and “property.”

“That’s the way police officers talk,” said Philip Stinson, a criminology professor at Bowling Green State University. “It pulls back the curtain on the police subculture. It’s raw, ugly, violent.”

The Trentonian left a detailed voicemail on police director Ernest Parrey Jr.’s cell phone, relaying what was captured by the body camera, but he didn’t respond.

He hasn’t returned phone calls from The Trentonian, reportedly bothered when the newspaper obtained and published body cam footage of him calling residents “hood rats” and making an illegal traffic stop.

The city police director was summoned to appear before City Council over the public blunders and previously found himself in hot water for speaking disrespectfully to council members.

As it related to the footage, some of the cops’ comments, Stinson said, could be “very shockingly literal. They mean exactly what they’re saying.”

The emergence of Lamin’s body cam footage is yet another black eye for a department that has been knocked to the canvas by a number of embarrassing public disclosures. The latest included a veteran city cop getting charged for allegedly possessing child porn.

Police were also accused of using excessive force in a lawsuit filed by attorneys for the family of a city man who was put into coma and later died after police bludgeoned him with batons and used pepper-sprayed to subdue him.

Miller was particularly chatty on the tape, at one point telling Lamin and officer Gloria Garcia what they needed to do subdue suspects.

“You may outrank me, but there’s veteran moves,” said Miller, who after 13 years with the department earns $99,838.

“What was the veteran moves?” asked Garcia, who has been on the force only three years.

A female officer, possibly Garcia or another woman, responded, “He gonna pull out the flashlight.”

“I ain’t putting nobody in the hospital, bro,” said Lamin, a 14-year veteran who makes $106,158 a year.

“Know what you do?” Miller said. “You go for major muscles groups.”

“I’m on camera,” Lamin said.

Not hearing Lamin or ignoring him altogether, Miller repeated, “Major muscle groups.”

Activist Darren “Freedom” Green called the footage demoralizing, especially when police are trying to make inroads in urban areas following national outcry over the shooting of many unarmed black men.

“We’ve never had community policing,” he said. “We’re seen as property; therefore we’re treated as such. They’re comfortable doing it because of the historical records. Where are all the good cops when rogue cops go wrong? If they stepped up and said, ‘That’s not what we’re about,’ that would change the paradigm.”

The cops, responding to a city hospital where a gunshot victim was taken for a CAT scan after being hit in the head, were off camera. But their voices can still be heard, with some exceptions when they’re drowned out by shrieking radio chatter.

As many as four voices could be heard on the recording, two of them sounding female.

Three of the officers were identified by an investigator for city attorney Robin Lord as Lamin, Miller and Garcia. The footage was provided as part of discovery in one of Lord’s cases.

The sergeant acknowledged on the tape that Miller was one of the cops dispatched to the hospital.

“He’s with the car right now,” Lamin said. “No one is with the victim. He’s in the ER.”

Lord, who has sued and won a number of settlements in police brutality cases, was perturbed by the footage. She handed it over to internal affairs at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, hoping it’d take action against the cops involved.

“I was horrified that this veteran officer [Miller] is giving advice to a rookie in front of a supervising sergeant on how to utilize excessive force and get away with it,” she said. “It’s mindboggling how this officer wasn’t immediately suspended and fired. It’s a perfect example how Trenton police treat people like they’re not even human beings. This is not Nazi Germany. It needs to be stopped and stooped swiftly. The officers need to know they’re gonna have criminal ramifications, not just civil where the city pays for their conduct.”

Experts said the conversation captured by the body cam was appalling but not entirely unexpected.

At one point, the police officer identified as Miller appeared to bring up Trenton detective Travis Maxwell, who in 2011 shot and killed ex-con Aaron Veh Carter in what police described as self-defense.

Maxwell has had his own share of allegations of brutality, being named in a lawsuit the city settled last year for $213,000.

The conversation about Maxwell related to an arrest in which the suspect was thrown up stairs.

The cop identified as Miller admitted he used his flashlight to repeatedly strike the suspect, which Lord contended was illegal.

“Boom, I hit him so hard I broke the battery inside,” he said, according to the footage.

In another exchange, police crudely discussed the shooting that could have claimed the life of victim Troy Carter, who survived being struck in the head by gunfire in June.

While he was inside the hospital getting a scan, officers suggested he might not have been shot.

“Is it a bullet or a pimple?” Lamin said.

“Yeah, one of those,” Garcia said.

“A big black head,” Lamin responded.

The video threatens to undermine any progress Trenton cops have made in community policing efforts.

“It’s very damaging,” Stinson said. “Ask a grandmother in Trenton or Camden and some will tell you this is the way they know police officers talk.”

Stinson said the police director’s use of racial language is also problematic and communicates a bad message to rank-and-file.

“It tells them that it’s OK,” he said. “It reinforces stereotypes that some police officers have of some residents. If I were a stakeholder in the city of Trenton, it would give me great pause.”

Green, the black community activist who encourages youth to respect police, called Parrey the “standard-bearer” for the department. He suggested he would have faced a different outcome had Green made racist remarks about affluent white people.

“My head would be handed to me,” he said.