Nj police chief suspended after footage of black teens being herded out of community

Royce McCutcheon

Junior Member
http://nj1015.com/nj-police-chief-s...teens-herded-like-cattle-out-of-town-by-cops/

MAPLEWOOD — Township officials have suspended the police chief and requested that he immediately resign after recordings were released showing police being ordered to push black township youth into a neighboring city.

The Township Committee took the action Tuesday night more than a year after four teens were arrested following a Fourth of July celebration. Officers were accused of using excessive force and teens complained that cops had forced them to march out of town — complaints that were in part borne out last week after the township finally released video from police dashcams and recordings of police radio transmissions.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, an officer involved in the incident had already been suspended for 17 days after the department found that he violated rules on the use of force. Five other officers are facing “formal discipline for violating department rules and regulations.”

In a rebuke of their department’s leadership, the township mayor and committee members on Tuesday suspended Chief Robert Cimino with pay for 60 days and suspended Capt. Joshua Cummis with pay for 30 days.

The committee also unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in the chief and requested that he resign immediately.

Additionally, the township hired Chicago-based law enforcement consultant Hillard Heintze to review the department’s policies and training and gather input from the community.

Neither Cimino nor Cummis could be reached for comment late Tuesday night. Cimino earns a base salary of $175,520 and Cummis earns a base salary of $161,386.

Maplewood is one of the most diverse communities in the state. But Committeeman Frank McGehee on Tuesday said the township’s diversity belies the lack of trust residents have with local institutions like the police department.

“Black children … were herded like cattle out of Maplewood, a town that many of these children call home,” he said. “There is no greater message that you are not welcome than being driven out of your hometown simply because of the color of your skin. When did being black become a qualifying factor regarding residency in Maplewood?”

Mayor Victor DeLuca said officials were “appalled” by the use of force used against the teens. In video of the confrontation, groups of police officers are seen taking two young men to the ground and punching them.

“We want to set the record straight that this type of behavior is not going to be accepted in Maplewood and this police department is going to right themselves,” DeLuca said.

Committeewoman Nancy Adams slammed the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the police department’s internal affairs unit for taking an “inordinately long and, as far as I could tell, unnecessarily so” amount of time to investigate last year’s incident and release the tapes to township officials last month.

“We were appalled and disgusted by what we saw,” she said. “This is not the town I live in, this is not the town I believe in.”

Prosecutors in April declined to press criminal charges against any officers, including bringing bias charges against Cimino and Cummis.

This is the second time in as many years that a police chief in the state has come under fire over policing tactics that have been criticized as discriminatory.

Last year, Wyckoff’s police chief was demoted and forced to retire after the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office found that he had “explicitly” violated a state directive prohibiting racial profiling by instructing officers to profile black people in the Bergen County community.

Maplewood police officers last year said they had trouble disbursing large crowds of unruly teens and had to arrest four of them, including one they said spit on an officer.

But teens said police instigated confrontation and then sprayed the crowd when the teens tried to avoid walking into Irvington, which is predominantly black.

On the audio recordings released by the township, a voice identified by local news site The Village Green as Chief Cimmino, orders officers: “We’re going to send them east.”

A voice identified by the news site as Capt. Cummis says: “Notify Irvington they are going down Elmwood toward their town.”

Cummis then says: “Once they reach the Irvington border and they’re in Irvington, I want you to maintain our border…”

“Maplewood units, I want them to maintain, once they leave our town, maintain our border.”

Residents have pointed out that Irvington has a curfew for teenagers.

“All of those children who were being forced in that direction, if they crossed that border they were subject to being detained by the Irvington police,” Walter Fields, president of the South Orange/Maplewood Black Parents Workshop, told New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday.

“Why weren’t white children and youth from Maplewood marched into neighboring Millburn after the fireworks? That’s why we believe this was clearly a case of racial profiling and we believe the department has to be held accountable.”

March me out of GAF if old. On topic, how is suspended 30 days with pay a punishment?
 

JettDash

Junior Member
I agree. Being suspended with pay is a vacation not a punishment. Police departments in the US are a sad joke.
 

Enzom21

Member
So uh which of these cops are the good ones?
Although, I am sure what they did was perfectly acceptable to the #notallcops crew.
 

Lain

Member
Disgusting.
Every time I see a thread like this on GAF I keep wondering how it's possible that such disgusting behaviour from law enforcement is accepted, allowed and rewarded (because suspension with pay is a reward as far as I'm concerned) from those in charge.
I'm not American so I don't understand how events as obvious as these can keep happening time after time and nothing gets really done about correcting things.
 
Their base salary is pretty good. I wonder what type of bonuses these cops get.

60 day suspension with pay -- then what? He gets fired?
I feel like the private sector would be much harsher.
 

Sunster

Member
Disgusting.
Every time I see a thread like this on GAF I keep wondering how it's possible that such disgusting behaviour from law enforcement is accepted, allowed and rewarded (because suspension with pay is a reward as far as I'm concerned) from those in charge.
I'm not American so I don't understand how events as obvious as these can keep happening time after time and nothing gets really done about correcting things.

because American law enforcement is rotten to the core. it needs a lot more than body cams and a few cops in prison. it needs a complete restructuring from top down.
 

celljean89

Neo Member
Out of my experience, living near Maplewood/South Orange. I'll say that Maplewood is more un-welcoming to black people. Also I'm not saying South Orange is not racist, I had a racist encounter at a certain establishment, and other moments.


But hearing what happen during the fourth of July don't surprise me at all.
 

Derwind

Member
Committeewoman Nancy Adams slammed the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the police department’s internal affairs unit for taking an “inordinately long and, as far as I could tell, unnecessarily so” amount of time to investigate last year’s incident and release the tapes to township officials last month.

You don't say?... I bet it's not because it has anything to do with the fact that the police department is essentially investigating itself.. Yep not that at all, no conflict of interest to see here folks.
 
Yeah maplewood has always been kinda sketchy with this shit. I lived there until I was 7, my parents saw the signs and moved to a better community.
 

Twio

Member
This is my town, literally typing this post from my home in Maplewood right now.

For a community that prides itself as being very left-wing and accepting it still remains very divided racially. Often times I'll be walking around and I'll feel out of place just because I can tell that people are looking at me and assuming I don't belong there (I'm a gay black dude); probably thinking I belong to the surrounding neighborhoods like Newark and Irvington that are low-income and predominantly black. That's the thought process around here unfortunately since the two neighborhoods are so close (Maplewood is upper middle-class). Meanwhile they couldn't be anymore wrong as we have an $80,000 2017 Audi S6 in our driveway.

It sucks. It really does because I want to give my town credit for some things, like hanging up the transgender flag the day after Trump's military ban was announced, but my town just consistently seems to neglect the obvious race issues it's had for quite some time now.
 

BriGuy

Member
That's some... I don't even know. I don't have words for it. This is like something you'd expect to see on some "alternate history" show because of how implausible it should be, but here it is.
 

Damaniel

Banned
Their base salary is pretty good. I wonder what type of bonuses these cops get.

60 day suspension with pay -- then what? He gets fired?
I feel like the private sector would be much harsher.

The department hopes everyone forgets and then they reinstate him. The cops aren't doing something they think is bad - they just got caught doing it.
 

Clefargle

Member
Fuck the police,

Anytime I'm back in America I give em the finger if I can get away with it. They're an institution of racism and violence
 

Jackpot

Banned
In video of the confrontation, groups of police officers are seen taking two young men to the ground and punching them.

Prosecutors in April declined to press criminal charges against any officers, including bringing bias charges against Cimino and Cummis.

...
 
When we say south jersey is pretty much like the south, we weren't kidding.

Maplewood is my hometown, and it's not in south NJ. It's about 15 min west of Newark, less than 40 min west of Manhattan.

And the town is about 40% black last I recall, there's no way this was going to slip under the rug. Good on the town council for doing the job the investigators would not.
 

zelas

Member
They should have just been fired by now. But this is a good example that we have more opportunity to deal with racist cops by fighting them at a local level first. Black people have significant voting power in some of these areas.
 

bionic77

Member
http://nj1015.com/nj-police-chief-s...teens-herded-like-cattle-out-of-town-by-cops/



March me out of GAF if old. On topic, how is suspended 30 days with pay a punishment?
That is because he is in a union. Unions are in general a very good thing. Focusing on how the bad apples of a union can get away with shit was one of the tactics Rs used for the past few decades to tear unions down.

Focus on how shitty the police in this city were and not on the unions. They are damaged enough as it is in the US and are on life support.
 

Mr. X

Member
Depressing that this is the best they could do for punishment. That blue wall is ridiculously high.
 

GoutPatrol

Forgotten in his cell
Not surprised. I had friends that were profiled in Passaic County when we were in high school. Cops hold grudges.
 
Out of my experience, living near Maplewood/South Orange. I'll say that Maplewood is more un-welcoming to black people. Also I'm not saying South Orange is not racist, I had a racist encounter at a certain establishment, and other moments.


But hearing what happen during the fourth of July don't surprise me at all.

Was that Establishment Seton Hall? I haven't been up that way in a while, but I recall the immediate boarder to Seton Hall being very protective.
 
So when are these officers back to work in the same precinct? Right it's do something terrible and deny it, have video released and downplay it while giving desk jobs to those involved, fire those involved, go to arbitration, hire back those involved.
 

rjinaz

Member
this sounds like sarcasm. so just out of curiosity: Is your thesis that all cops are bad or are you trying to say that "not all cops are bad" is used as an argument to distract from the real issue at hand?

It's not literally making a thesis that every cop is bad. Come on now.

But people that defend cops like to say "not all cops are bad" as if to dismiss this behavior as if it's a rare exception. Time and time again it is shown that cops are bad. The institution is bad. Since the institution is rotten to its core, it by extension makes the cops that are part of it bad.

But since you seem to need to hear it, not every single cop is a bad person. I've met some good ones personally. Hope that helps.
 

Draxal

Member
This is my town, literally typing this post from my home in Maplewood right now.

For a community that prides itself as being very left-wing and accepting it still remains very divided racially. Often times I'll be walking around and I'll feel out of place just because I can tell that people are looking at me and assuming I don't belong there (I'm a gay black dude); probably thinking I belong to the surrounding neighborhoods like Newark and Irvington that are low-income and predominantly black. That's the thought process around here unfortunately since the two neighborhoods are so close (Maplewood is upper middle-class). Meanwhile they couldn't be anymore wrong as we have an $80,000 2017 Audi S6 in our driveway.

It sucks. It really does because I want to give my town credit for some things, like hanging up the transgender flag the day after Trump's military ban was announced, but my town just consistently seems to neglect the obvious race issues it's had for quite some time now.

All the towns bordering Newark/Irvingtown/East Orange do this, AA coworker of mine had the cops called out for him in Belleville, while scouting the area looking at the neighbor apartment hunting.
 
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