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Retired New Jersey Police Chief Charged With Hate Crime In Assault Of Handcuffed Black Teen

Frank Nucera Jr. compared black people to Isis, and routinely used racial slurs. 

A police chief in South New Jersey compared black people to Isis, and routinely used racial slurs according to a federal affidavit. Frank Nucera Jr., formerly of the Bordentown Township Police is charged with a federal hate crime and “willful violation of civil rights” stemming from the violent arrest of a black teen last year.

The investigation -- which began after an officer in the department reported Nucera to federal authorities -- revealed a pattern of racist conduct, New Jersey’s acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick revealed Wednesday (Nov. 1). "The tone in which [Nucera] conducted himself and in what's charged is one of the most disturbing and disgusting events I've seen in over 20 years in law enforcement," Fitzpatrick said. "The people who are most disgusted by it are members of the New Jersey law enforcement community, because this defendant made their jobs much harder. That's the legacy a bad cop leaves for the rest of the law enforcement community."

Nucera, 60, was arrested at his home Wednesday, reports CBS News.

In September 2016, Nucera was on hand for the arrest of two black teens (an 18-year-old man and 16-year-old girl) after a hotel owner claimed they didn’t pay for a hotel room . The encounter turned physical with the cops using pepper pray on the teens, who officers say initially resisted arrest.

After the male teen was handcuffed two cops were walking him through a stairwell at which point Nucera attacked him from behind, slamming his head into a doorjamb.

Nucera “willfully caused the bodily injury of a civilian because of his race and color,” FBI special Agent Vernon I. Addison wrote in an affidavit.

An officer walking the teen at the time of the assault thought Nucera’s use of force was excessive but didn’t report him for fear of retaliation, according to the affidavit. Meanwhile, a second officer called EMS to evaluate the teen who wanted to go to the hospital after he complained of “head pain” and a possible concussion.” The officer later recorded an exchange where the EMS technician can be heard calling the teen a “dumba**.” The teen changed his mind about going to the hospital minutes later, the affidavit states.

The report goes on to support claims against Nucera by detailing a history of “racist comments concerning African Americas,” including frequently referring to black people as “n*ggers,” and “moulinyans” (an Italian-American slang word for "n*gger").

In 2015, Nucera went on a racist rant comparing black people to Isis after suspecting that a “previously arrested African American individual” slashed the tires of a squad car.

“I wish that n*gger would come back from Trenton [New Jersey] and give me a reason to put my hands on him, I’m tired of ‘em,” Nucera told a subordinate officers.

“These n*ggers are like ISIS, they have no value. They should line them all up and mow ‘em down,” Nucera said, adding that he’d like to be on the “firing squad.”

“I used to think about if I could shoot someone or not, I could,” he concluded. “I’m tired of it.”

He also ordered the “racially discriminatory use of police dogs to intimidate African Americans.”

Nucera took a leave of absence before quietly retiring in January.

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Former Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Sentenced For Killing Laquan McDonald

Former Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, could end up serving just over three years in prison for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months Friday (Jan. 18), and according to the Chicago Tribune , the former officer is eligible to receive credit for good behavior.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan had to decide between sentencing Van Dyke for second-degree murder or aggravated battery, the latter of which carried a mandatory minimum of six years in prison, the Tribune reports. Gaughan decided that it made more sense to sentence Van Dyke for murder, which makes him eligible for early release.

McDonald was shot to death in 2014. At the time, authorities claimed that the teen was behaving erratically while carrying a small knife. The police department waited 13 months to release video of the shooting. In the footage, McDonald is seen walking away from the cops as Van Dyke opens fire, shooting him 16 times. Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the CPD, was arrested and quickly released on bond the day that the video was made public. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and more than a dozen charges of aggravated battery last October.

Darren O'Brien, Van Dyke’s lawyer, pushed for sentencing “leniency,” due in part to his client’s clean criminal record. Depicting O’Brien as the victim, Van Dyke stated that his client feared for his life when he killed McDonald.

“He didn’t start the confrontation,” O’Brien said. “He reacted to what Mr. McDonald did..Everything that happened was set in motion by Mr. McDonald.”

Gaughan called the court case a tragedy for families from both parties. “It’s just so senseless that these acts occur because you can see the pain on both sides. This is a tragedy for both sides."

Van Dyke's sentence came a day after a Cook County judge acquitted three CPD officers charged with covering up the shooting.

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Rep. Maxine Waters meets with CBS Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity, Kim Goodwin, and CBS Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, Christopher Isham, on Capitol Hill. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Waters Office)

Maxine Waters Meets With CBS To Discuss Media Diversity And Inclusion

California Rep. Maxine Waters met with CBS' Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity to discuss the lack of media diversity and inclusion within the media empire.

Their meeting steemed from the network's recent release of their predominately clear  team for the coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Comprised of 4 white producers, 5 white-passing reporters and 3 journalists of color, though the 2020 campaigns reporting staff does not have any black anchors.

It's Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled! https://t.co/0GBCw4mj7s pic.twitter.com/E0rUDAkzf7

— Ben Mitchell (@bfmitchell) January 11, 2019

Waters, like other prominent speakers in the black community, have discussed their reluctance to embrace the staff citing issues with who will tackle the roles that racism will play in elections and the role racism has been playing in the United States. Taking the issues directly to the source, the congresswomen had a discussion with the higher up's to talk redirection.

“The CBS representatives accepted full responsibility and understood the troubling optics-- and subsequent public backlash -- that occurred as a result of the rollout of their 2020 presidential election team. CBS admitted that the initial 2020 campaign team did not reflect the diversity that the company had committed to; assured me that it will not happen again; and revealed that in the coming months they will unveil a more diverse and inclusive slate of African American journalists and journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,"  Waters said in a press statement.

"They also identified key individuals in Washington, D.C. and New York City, NY whom they have brought onto their team to fulfill this mission and ensure their news organization reflects the diversity of the country and the communities who will most certainly be engaged in the 2020 elections."

The 43rd district representative has vowed to hold CBS accountable for their diversity issues and is dedicated to working alongside her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Louisville International Airport To Be Renamed After Muhammad Ali

Louisville, Kentucky's hometown hero will have an airport named after him.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday (Jan. 16) that the Louisville International Airport will be renamed after Muhammad Ali.

"Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville," Fischer said.

"Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people."

The city is hoping to finalize the renaming of the Louisville International Airport to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport by June. The news was shared a day before the two year anniversary of Ali's 2016 death. Ali would've been 77.

Officials with the Louisville airport are currently working on receiving approval from Ali's family, however, they say an agreement is near. The decision for the rename to hopefully increase tourism.

"It is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ's legacy," the mayor added. "And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step."

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