U.S. Marshal Allegedly Uses Social Media to Publicly Shame Member of the Press Covering Scene in Lakewood [UPDATE – US Marshal’s Office Issues Apology]

A TLS reporter covering the U.S. Marshals in Lakewood was shamed for doing his job, apparently by a U.S. Marshal himself.

While taking photos of the U.S. Marshals in Lakewood on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, a U.S. Marshal was seen taking a photo of one of our reporters – and it was captured on camera.

A short time later, the picture of the reporter appeared on social media, with a caption “The fat face behind @thelakewoodscoop.”

The comment was then followed up by a second comment this morning, hashtagging #fatface.

Through the help of multiple people on scene, we were able to identify this man as a member of the U.S. Marshal’s office.

“This behavior is unacceptable and not something that should be expected from a member of the U.S. Marshals Service or any law enforcement officer who swore to uphold the law and the constitution – which protects members of the press,” TLS editors said in a statement. “To publicly shame a reporter for doing his job and doing what he is legally allowed to do, is ethically and morally wrong, and we intend to ensure this matter is properly handled by his superiors.”

TLS reached out to the U.S. Marshal’s service before publishing this article, but have not yet heard back at the time of publishing.

UPDATE 2:05 PM: The US Marshal’s office reached out to TLS regarding the incident.

“I want to apologize for the inappropriate behavior of one of our Task Force officers,” U.S. Marshal of the District of New Jersey Juan Mattos stated. “He has been counseled, reprimanded, and has acknowledged his conduct and behavior was totally inappropriate, and he is very remorseful.”

Mattos added, “We respect everyone’s right to viedotape or photograph our members when they are in action.”

The Instagram account of the user has since been deleted.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. When asked what can be done to resolve this issue, one US Marshal told reporters on Wednesday: “Well, we may have to invoke Marshal Law.”
    When asked whether he would also recommend invoking Martial Law, the US Marshal told reporters, “Yeah, that one too.”

    • It’s not what but who… and you don’t have a right to know. This investigation can take months. That doesn’t excuse the Marshal for harassing a reporter. On the other hand, if the reporter got a picture of the fugitive they are looking for, his camera, phone, whatever would be confiscated and he would be sent on his merry way sans camera. There are some LEOs that are on a power trip and overstep their bounds, which this idiot rookie did.

      • You are absolutely incorrect. It still amazes me when people go online and state things as facts when they really don’t know what you’re talking about. It is a constitutionally-protected right to film ANYONE OR ANYTHING in public. Period. No stipulations. No law enforcement loopholes. Nothing. If it happens in public, there is ZERO expectation or right to privacy and it is any citizens right to film it and no other citizen or entity, law enforcement included, can abridge, suspend affect that right. Law enforcement also cannot just seize your property for essentially no reason, another constitutionally-protected right against illegal search and seizure. They *could* request any footage you took if it was part of an investigation or had any evidentiary value, and could get the data (not the phone/device, but just the video file(s)) via subpoena if you did not want to voluntarily turn it over, but that would be the extent of it. Please stop spreading false and misleading info. If you don’t 100% for sure know (moderated) you’re talking about, then just don’t say anything.

        • Kindly call Juan Mattos, Jr. (who responded to TLS) at the USM NJ District office at (609) 989-2069 for clarification on your concerns with regards to this matter. I would advise you to alter your tone and not use expressions such as “WT*” during your inquiry. Thank you.

        • TLS: JL’s comment contains inappropriate words (at the end) and should be at least edited, and maybe should not have been allowed through to begin with.

    • Maybe your overthinking this?
      Maybe the marshal is simply a mean spirited jerk who does idiotic things on social media?
      I dont know if you can say “they” were hiding anything.
      In fact, it seems it was “they” who helped get this individual reprimanded…

    • Obviously this person’s job is to get footage of incidents in town. If you’re job is a taxi driver and you complain about gas prices is the correct answer to drive less? No. You still do your job

  2. I read the article and also the comments.
    My honest conclusion is that Hashem quietly, cleverly hinted to that guy to take a picture in order to remind us that we are not at home and we all (including myself) need to yearn for the Bais HaMikdash.
    I do completely agree that the terminology that he used in his account has zero Shaichus (connection) to Hashem. Only that guy himself is responsible for the inappropriate words.

  3. Simple question, how is supposed to know that he’s a reporter – you don’t have vests saying so. And I’d like to see one frum guy in Lakewood be wiling to wear a vest that says ‘press’. So he obviously figured out that the pic went on scoop, OK, and he wasn’t happy about it, for whatever reason. And let me ask you, how is that sometimes the cops will tell a person that he cannot take pics at crash site. if it’s legal to take of anything in public, what ‘s the issue? And why did you once report about a guy taking pictures of children waiting at bus stop in Jackson – is there something illegal to take pics in public? Maybe he enjoyed the sight!
    I’m not saying the comment was totally right, but there are some things I don’t get here.

      • It doesn’t matter if the individual in question is a reporter or John Q Pubic/ Jane Q Public.

        All Law Enforcement Officers regardless of position or type of Law Enforcement Category (Local, County, State, Federal, or International), there’s something called being Professional 1000 percent of the time, all the time, even if he/she is off duty.

        Keep up the amazing work, TLS.
        @TLS Editor

      • Your reporters wear ID? Where at every car crash, or only here where absolutely required. And what type of ID – a vest or small badge? Maybe they should wear them at every crash and sneeze so that everyone knows who they are. I’d like to see if they’d be willing to.
        Nothing personal on you site, but maybe get more Niflaos Haborei, chesed etc.
        It is documented that from 2000 to 2010, murders in the US went down, yet TVs reported more than before. Why? Because there was a shift to social media, and they were trying to keep a following. You have to know your constituents to know what keeps them coming back. Is it problems or good things? it’s something we all need to think about.

    • Learn your constitution anything in public can be videoed by anyone. any law enforcement officer that says you can’t take video is breaking the law. there are zero exceptions to this rule. Anything visible to the eye can be recorded from a public area you can not go on private property and tape but you can tape private property from a public way. this applies to all public government buildings too

Comments are closed.