NJ police chief accused of beating black teen to be re-tried on hate charges
The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey says it'll re-retry Bordentown's retired police chief on hate crime and excessive force charges, after deadlocked jury didn't return a verdict this week.
Frank M. Nucera Jr. was accused of slamming a handcuffed prisoner’s head into a metal door jamb at the Ramada Hotel on Sept. 1, 2016. He was found guilty Wednesday of lying to the FBI in what prosecutors said was a hate-crime assault of the black teenager.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said in December that Nucera "appears to be the first cop in at least a decade to be charged with a federal hate crime.” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a police sergeant testified as a key witness in the case. Sgt. Nathan Roohr made 81 recordings of his former boss.
CBS News reported that about a dozen cops in the department had secretly recorded Nucera's comments.
Nucera had a "significant history of making racists comments" by frequently referring to black people as "n*****s," "nigs," "moulinyans" and "moulies," a federal complaint says , adding that "Moulinyans" is an Italian slur for African Americans.
The complaint, as described by the New York Times, also says a subordinate officer recorded Nucera the day of the alleged hate crime assault saying "I'm f***ing tired of them man. I'll tell you what, it's gonna get to the point where I could shoot one of these motherf***ers. And that (N-word) b***h lady, she almost got it."
It also says he was recorded saying "Donald Trump is the last hope for white people because Hillary will give it to all the minorities to get a vote."
Nurcea went on a verbal rampage in November 2015 after a black suspect was accused of slashing a police vehicle's tires, prosecutors said.
"These n*****s 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," Nucera was quoted as saying.
“The complaint alleges that the defendant harbored an intense racial animosity towards African Americans," then-Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey William Fitzpatrick said after Nucera’s arrest in November 2017.
Nucera, who also served as the township business administrator, retired in June 2017 and has been collecting a pension of more than $101,000 a year.
If convicted, Nucera faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
— With previous reporting by Erin Vogt
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