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