A New Jersey officer who left the scene of a shooting to drive a 7-year-old girl, who saw her father kill her mother, to police headquarters, has been demoted for abandoning the crime scene.
Asbury Park City Manager, Michael Capabianco, upheld charges of incompetency, neglect of duty and three other counts against the 21-year police veteran, Capt. Marshawn Love.
Love drove the girl away after her father, off-duty cop Phil Seidle, 51, ran his ex-wife's vehicle off the road and used his service weapon to fatally shoot her while their daughter was in the passenger seat of his car.
No other injuries were reported in the shooting.
The shooting was followed by a 30-minute police standoff, during which Seidle held a gun to his head before officers convinced him to surrender. He was then taken into custody.
Asbury Park Police Captain Marshawn Love, who responded to the scene but soon left with the Seidles’ daughter, was demoted to sergeant and suspended for 120 as authorities.
The officials said he shouldn’t have left the scene and should have taken command as the senior-most officer.
Love said he was in the best position to comfort her after the traumatic incident, because he knew the family and the girl was a friend of Love's youngest son.
But authorities said that by leaving, Love, as the senior-most officer, left an inexperienced officer and two special officers by themselves at an active crime scene.
However, he says he wasn’t the commanding officer there.
The case will now go to a Superior Court judge and the suspension will be appealed.
As for Seidle, he received 30 years in prison.