What Year Is It At Newark PD?

19 02 2010

Evidently, the Newark Police Department works on a different calendar from the rest of New Jersey. Judging by the actions of Newark officers in the case of Diana Taylor, it appears they are stuck somewhere around the year 1950 – give or take. On reading the charges leveled against Newark PD in this matter by the ACLU, one is left to wonder WTF? Who is charge here? Is Cory Booker running the city or do we have the ghost of Boss Hague in charge? Perhaps the spirit of the late Mayor Rizzo found its way upriver from Philadelphia and Cory is somehow channeling it? Something weird has got to be going on because random cop harassment of LGBT persons – just pulling over the squad car for no reason except to screw around with a citizen for the cop-entertainment value of it is a practice we thought had vanished along with Leave It To Beaver. Guess we have a thing or two to learn yet about Newark. But then, we did learn a long time ago that anyone who thinks they have really figured out what is going on in Newark is usually wrong so we shouldn’t be surprised. The cop behavior alledged by the ACLU in their lawsuit is outrageous, absolutely unprofessional, highly bigoted and possible indicative of mental disorder.  It certainly points out a crying need for greatly improved discipline and training in a police force that apparently does not take seriously the rights of law-abiding citizens. The question is, what are Cory Booker and the other city leaders going to do about it? Is this yet another Newark issue that will be swept under the already very lumpy civic carpet? Let’s put Booker and the Newark PD on notice – you can’t whitewash this one. The LGBT community is NOT going to be your f***ing play-toy, to be randomly abused for the amusement of a few troglodyte cops. We have blood on the ground in Newark. We have the dead bodies of Sakia Gunn and of four students to remember. We have many others who didn’t die but who have suffered abuse at the hands of moronic bigots, including Newark cops, to remember and we are not going to take this crap. We don’t have to. It is not 1950 anymore. There are laws protecting us. We are organized. We vote. We have our own media. WE ARE WATCHING YOU, NEWARK P.D. and we will see this through to the end. We will work to see some changes made and we will do our best to see some rotten apples in the police department hit the unemployment lines. It seems clear that Newark PD needs a wake-up call and few examples provided of what happens to public servants who think they can act like the Gestapo.

According to Ms. Taylor’s statements, the Lieutenant at the police station she was taken to said the cops “didn’t mean her any harm.” Really? That is so reassuring. So – grabbing someone off the street for no reason, handcuffing them, taking them to the police station and turning the data base inside out to see if there was any possibility of finding something – anything- to charge that person with, all the while insulting and mocking the victim, is not “meaning any harm?” Wow! I guess the officer meant Ms. Taylor should be grateful she wasn’t taken into a back room and raped with a nightstick. Then we have her testimony that, during the mandatory ride home (two blocks away) the officers threatened to have local gang members take care of her if she dared to file a complaint. Now, if true that does leave us confused. We thought the cops and the gangs were enemies – silly us. We had no idea the street gangs were available to do the cop’s heavy lifting. That does paint a rather bleak picture of law enforcement in Newark. If the cops and the gangs are allies, we’re done in that town.

Mayor Booker, this is your mess – clean it up. Don’t throw up your hands and say there is nothing you can do about “the blue wall.” There is. Remember, if it comes to it, what Calvin Coolidge did about the Boston PD when he was governor of Massachusetts. The Boston PD was out of control and considered itself to be a law unto itself. It went on strike. Governor Coolidge said “no one has the right to strike against the public safety.” He fired the ENTIRE police department, and called out the national guard to patrol the streets while a completely new department was hired, trained and put in place. That solved the problem. The lesson is the elected public officials are in control and responsible, holding the ultimate trump card. Mayor Booker – take charge. Do your job. Protect the citizens from the outrageous abuse of police authority this case represents and dig out the facts about how much more of this sort thing has taken place. We are watching. We are publicizing and we vote.

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