Police Abuse

DOJ, Newark Miss Deadline to Agree on Police Reforms, No New Deadline Set


Newark Mayor with police

In late July, officials from the city of Newark, New Jersey, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into an "agreement in principle" that would lead to negotiations over specific reforms of and a federal monitor for the Newark Police Department (NPD). The DOJ found that 75 percent of pedestrian stops by the NPD were unconstitutional, and the process concludes several years of investigation by the DOJ that found evidence of wide-scale abuse at the NPD. The DOJ first decided to place Newark under a federal monitor in February, but no monitor has yet been appointed.

Last summer the NPD began to release data on stop and frisks it performs, but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey complained in a letter dated last month but reported as having been sent earlier this month that the department's release of data didn't include the reason for stops or their resolution. The ACLU also noted that the NPD often posted the data late and some not at all.

According to the Star Ledger, a spokesperson for the local U.S. Attorney said there was no new timetable for when negotiations over the reforms and the monitor, in the form of a consent decree, would be complete.

I actually lived in Newark most of my life. I was stopped and frisked by cops once, in mid-2008. They spit my description back at me as the reason I was stopped. They didn't find anything.

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