Tapes Captured a New Jersey Police Chief Making Racist Remarks. Now He’s Headed to Trial on Hate-Crime Charges

Federal authorities brought hate crime charges against the former Bordentown police chief, Frank Nucera, for assaulting a handcuffed African American suspect and then later spewing racial slurs against the suspect and African Americans in general.

When a hotel manager called 911 to report that a disorderly guest was refusing to leave the pool and a responding officer requested backup, Bordentown Township Police Chief Frank Nucera Jr. rushed to the scene on a rainy summer night. The chief joined a handful of patrolmen, including a K-9 officer and his barking dog, in answering that call in September 2016.

Now, dash-cam video, 911 tapes, and police logs obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News shed fresh light on an encounter at the Bordentown Ramada hotel that prosecutors say ended with a young black man beaten while handcuffed — and that led to Nucera’s resignation and eventual arrest on federal hate-crime charges.

Federal prosecutors say the chief slammed the teen’s head into a metal doorjamb, causing “a loud thud” heard by witnesses, as he was being escorted out of the hotel. Authorities said the attack was racially motivated.

Nucera, 61, is at the center of a hate-crime case that rocked the small police department and made national headlines. He is expected to stand trial in federal court in Camden later this year, charged with the assault on Timothy Stroye, then 18, of Trenton, and with the frequent use of racial epithets that were caught on tape. Authorities quoted Nucera as saying blacks were “like ISIS; they have no value” and that he wished he could join a firing squad to “mow them down.”

Nucera, who had been the police chief and town administrator since 2006, also ordered police dogs to be deployed at high school basketball games to intimidate black spectators, authorities said.

Officers in his police department “saw what was going on, knew it was wrong, had enough, and called the FBI,” former U.S. District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said after the charges against Nucera were announced late last year.

Fitzpatrick said one officer, whom authorities have not identified, secretly taped Nucera during a yearlong investigation.

Nucera has denied the charges and pleaded not guilty. He is free on $500,000 unsecured bond. Throughout the saga, he has declined to comment.

His lawyer, Rocco Cipparone Jr., said this week that he is analyzing more than 100 hours of tapes made during the investigation. He questioned the motives of the officer who made the recordings and said the tapes appear to have been edited and distort Nucera’s remarks.

Earlier this month, Cipparone requested more time to prepare his defense, and the judge gave him two more months to do that. “It takes a long time to go through and map this all out,” Cipparone said.

After news of the charges against Nucera broke, residents demanded answers on how the chief’s allegedly racist behavior went unnoticed and unreported for years in the predominantly white community of about 11,000 about 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Township officials said they could not comment before the trial.

Others were more vocal.

“The chief operated in a rogue and racist manner. He did it with malice,” said civil rights activist Walter L. Hudson Sr. of Penns Grove, founder of the National Awareness Alliance. “This is the playbook of police brutality when it comes to black and brown people.”

“You can be a bigot and be a cop,” said Jon Shane, an associate professor of criminal justice at the City University of New York and a former Newark police captain. “When the officer acts on it and takes some kind of force and during the use of force, they’re throwing around the N-word or calling someone a filthy Arab … then you have a problem.”

In the dash-cam video, the chief, wearing a pink shirt and a tie, met up with five uniformed officers who responded to a call for backup from the two officers dispatched to investigate a report that a “black male” had failed to pay his $65 hotel bill and refused to get out of the pool.

For full story visit: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/tapes-captured-a-new-jersey-police-chief-making-racist-remarks-now-hes-headed-to-trial-on-hate-crime-charges-20180323.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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