Spencer Finch

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Service Record

Paterson New Jersey Police Department

Rank Officer
Dates of Service Hired in 2003.[1]
Salary $106,736[1]
Last Known Status Terminated[1]


2006-2013 Paterson Police Department Awards

In the period of 2006-2013, Finch received the Medal of Valor, the Chief's Medal (3x), and the Medal of Merit (2x).[2]

Incident Reports

Spencer Finch booking photo
Spencer Finch

2006 Suspect Beating

On March 16, 2006, Finch and other officers responded to a burglary in progress.[3]

Another officer filed a report with Internal Affairs, detailing how other officers - including Finch - had beaten the suspect.[3]

2008 Incident

Finch was accused of using excessive force.

Response Timeline

The charges were dismissed in the federal courts.[1]

2011 Arrest of Donnie Walton

On November 26, 2011, Walton was arrested by several officers, including Finch. Walton alleges that the officers used excessive force, including being "kicked, punched [and] beat" while he was handcuffed.[4]

Response Timeline

On December 24, 2013, Walton filed a lawsuit against the officers.[4]

On June 23, 2014, the case was dismissed as it was not filed with the two year time limit.[4]

2011 Arrest of Alexis Aponte and Miguel Rivera

On September 3, 2011, it was alleged that one of Aponte or Rivera fired a shot at an off-duty police officer. Multiple officers responded, including Finch.[5]

Video recordings taken by home security cameras showed a group of about a dozen Paterson officers kick and beat two handcuffed shooting suspects who were prone on the pavement.[1][6]

Response Timeline

In 2013, the prosecutor's office decided not to file any charges against the officers.[7]

On June 28, 2013, Aponte and Rivera filed a federal lawsuit.[5]

The city of Paterson approved a $610,000 settlement in that lawsuit.[1]

2018 Arrest of Justin Montgomery

Response Timeline

Montgomery filed an internal affairs complaint against the officers.[8]

On November 1, 2019, Montgomery filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that Finch violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by using excessive force and depriving him of due process rights.[9]

2021 Arrest of Brandon Crosby

Response Timeline

On June 10, 2021, Finch was suspended without pay. Under the police union contract, Finch would resume collecting his pay after 30 days and then go on administrative leave.[10]

On June 11, 2021, Finch was arrested and charged with official misconduct, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and tampering with public records.[1] The unauthorized weapon was a larger 'C' or 'D'-cell flashlight, which are not allowed by the department.[11]

On June 30, 2021, city officials announced the filing of termination papers against Finch.[10]

Finch rejected a plea deal from prosecutors.[12]

On December 21, 2023, a jury acquitted Finch.[12]


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