A Matter of Time …

This one jumped right onto my radar tonight and the blip was loud and insistent.  The headlines …

N.J. Police Chief Said Black People Are ‘Lke ISIS’ And He’d Like To Be ‘On The Firing Squad,’ Feds Say – Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post, 01 November 2017

Ex-Police Chief Accused of Hate Crime, Excessive Force – The Associated Press, 01 November 2017

Frank Nucera, age 60, had been on the Bordentown, New Jersey police department since 1983.  According to other officers, he has always had problems with African-Americans, but those problems came to a head in January when the FBI began investigating charges of racism against then-Chief Nucera.  Nucera resigned in January, likely under duress, with an annual pension of $105,992.76

nucera

Frank Nucera

The incident that triggered the FBI investigation was Nucera’s physical abuse of an 18 year-old African-American suspect who was already in police custody, in handcuffs, and being escorted on either side by an officer, posing no threat whatsoever. Nucera came up behind the young man and slammed his head into a steel doorjamb.  An officer then began recording the incident as Nucera hurled a series of racial epithets.

Yesterday, Nucera was arrested and charged with civil rights violations and hate crimes.  According to acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick, “Chief Nucera harbored an intense, senseless, irrational and bigoted view toward African-Americans.”

BordentownNucera had a history of making racial slurs and derogatory comments about blacks, and used dogs as intimidation tools at local high school basketball games.  A year ago, one of his officers became concerned enough that he secretly began recording his comments. In one of the recordings Nucera said of African Americans that he was “tired of them. it’s getting to the point where I could shoot one.” And this …

“These n****rs are like ISIS, they have no value. They should line them all up and mow ’em down. I’d like to be on the firing squad, I could do it. I used to think about if I could shoot someone or not, I could do it, I’m tired of it.”

Now I have to ask the question … this man has been with the police force for 34 years … thirty-four years!  How has this behaviour not been noticed and dealt with long before? Surely he did not only in the last year develop racist tendencies?  Surely others have noticed his behaviour and rhetoric before now?  Surely there have been other incidences of abuse in the past 34 years? How did this man stay on the force and in his position as chief for this long?  And … perhaps the more important question … how many more are out there as city police chiefs, county sheriffs or other arms of law enforcement who are just like Nucera?  Think Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona.

I would bet that Nucera has always harbored hatred and resentment against blacks, but did he keep it hidden, under wraps, knowing that it would be trouble if he were found out?  And then last year, with the new wave of white supremacy, the new ideology among some that it is okay to be racist, did he finally let his guard down?  Or has this been going on all along and the people have covered for him?  I cannot find any answers, but am chilled to think of this man having had murder in his heart, and yet been given the keys to the highest position of law enforcement in his town … for thirty-four years!

In response to a spate of police killing unarmed black men such as Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and others in recent years, the Obama administration ordered reforms and training improvements at police departments.  But now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review of all such agreements, saying it was necessary to ensure that these pacts do not work against the Trump administration’s goals of promoting officer safety and morale while fighting violent crime. He also rolled back a different Obama-era effort to investigate police departments and work with them out of court to fix their failings.

How close did Bordentown, New Jersey come to being the next Ferguson, Missouri?  How many cities across the nation have officers on the force with an intense hatred of black people?  How do they go unnoticed, unreported?  And another big question … will Jeff Sessions, well known for his own racism, roll back the safeguards that were just being put in place to combat this very thing?  How long before we have our next Freddie Gray?  Only a matter of time, folks … a matter of time.

22 thoughts on “A Matter of Time …

  1. Pingback: A Matter of Time … | DoNotHate.org

  2. Jill, we need more Americans to stand up and say this is not right. We obviously cannot rely on the President to condemn racism. We need more leaders to stand up and be counted. I have asked my representative and senators to censure the President for his debasing of the office and divisive behavior. He has made us a pariah in the world and is not trusted by leaders here or abroad.

    I cannot believe this is 2017 and we have so much of this bigotry going on. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, my friend … it feels as if we are moving backward, and some people seem to applaud that, wishing for a return to what they think of as the “gool old days”. I guess it depends on who you were in those days … they weren’t so good for African-Americans. Good idea, asking your congressmen to censure him. At least they need to know that We The People as a whole do not approve of his behaviour. Sadly, I look for it to escalate now, for I think he will do whatever he thinks will detract and distract from the focus on the Mueller investigation and related fallout.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, I have said this before, part of the reason for the rise of white nationalism is demographic. As whites become a plurality rather than a majority, their influence wanes. So, the unstated objective of the nationalist movement is to restrict civil rights and give more power to the authority. With Trump playing the fool, Jeff Sessions and Trump are stealing a lot of our rights. There exists a small undercurrent to discredit the election process to cancel the 2020 election. That cannot and should not happen, but I said the same thing about this President’s chance’s of winning in the spring of 2016.We need leaders to stand up. By the way, the Papadopoulos confession confirms that Sessions lied again under oath about knowledge of Russian contacts as did Trump to the public. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, our predictive skills have let us down in the past year or so, haven’t they? I’m thinking we need to invest in new crystal balls, for I threw mine against a wall so many times it is nothing but a ball of duct tape now.

          Your assessment is accurate, but I still don’t understand why. Why do white people need to feel they are a majority. I do not care if my race or religion are a majority, plurality or minority … what does being a member of the majority matter? And it still comes back to arrogance … to think that paler skin somehow equates superiority??? Sigh.

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  3. If his officers became concerned it sounds as if that was getting worse and reads as if he was on his way to ‘Looney Toonsville’ (Having taken my own walks down these paths I reserve the right to make a derogatory remark about someone who wallows in his state of mind).
    A $100,000+ per year is cheap at the price to get rid of him, bearing in mind he might likely spend his declining years gibbering and looking out for any of ‘those people’ who pass by his house- of course he could take a look in the mirror and say with a sigh ‘Jerk!’ (some of us do)

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  4. Dear Jill,
    This could have gone of for many years. This reminds me of the Chicago police chief Jon Burge who literally got away with torturing prisoners with impunity for decades.. When the system finally caught up with him, he also walked away with a pension.
    How many more are out there with this racist mentality. Thank God for the Whistle-blower. I hope that he is okay. The Blue line is unforgiving, an attitude that has to be adjusted.

    Hugs, Gronda .

    Liked by 1 person

    • That question … how many more are out there … is what cost me sleep last night. Are 20% of law enforcement racists? 40%? Who knows, and the trouble is, we don’t find out until somebody blows the whistle. I know a number of law enforcement officers, and they are good guys, dedicated to doing the right thing. But I also know one who is an ass … you can see it in the way he walks … he swaggers, and keeps his hand on the butt of his gun at all times, as if daring one to give him a reason, to “make his day”. They are out there … always will be, I suspect.
      Hugs!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Since he committed this crime ( and others) while at work and therefore brought the department into disrepute I think his pension should be reduced as he wasn’t doing the job he was paid for. I wonder whether the officer with a conscience who recorded these abuses was white or black, surely any black officers would have noted a difference in the way they were treated.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am in full agreement … in fact, I don’t think he deserves a pension at all! However, legally he is entitled, so I guess it’s a small enough price to pay to get him out of law enforcement before he kills somebody. He may yet end up serving jail time, and then his big pension will do him no good anyway.

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A conspiracy of silence. Everyone knows it happens. Everyone knows someone who knows someone, but it’s never their ‘business’. Or perhaps they secretly approve. Or it’s what they’ve grown up with an simply cannot imagine things being different. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Racism is plainly wrong. Racism is dangerous, disgusting, and damaging to everyone.
    Either this Nucera has always been a racist and hidden it well, or he’s suddenly developed racist tendencies, or he is physically, mentally, spiritually ill. Who can see into the mind of another man to know what is really deep down there, hidden behind fortress walls?
    One thing looks certain, Nucara should have been made to retire from the police force a long time ago.
    Kudos Jill. Love, hugs, and kisses. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect he’s always been a racist, but hid it well enough. I think Roger might be spot-on with his comment that with age, he became more blatant, more unconcerned with proprieties, perhaps even early-onset Alzheimer’s? Who knows? But it’s good that he is off the force, because I believe somebody would have gotten hurt had he stayed … maybe a lot of people.
      Hugs, love and kisses back to you, my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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