North Brunswick mayor: No, we don’t target black, Latino drivers
NORTH BRUNSWICK — Mayor Francis "Mac" Womac says a news report citing police who claim officers target minority drivers to make ticket quotas "missed the mark," and doesn't reflect policy in his township.
North Brunswick Mike Campbell and other unnamed officers told NBC 4 New York that officers targeted black and Latino neighbhorhoods on roads that went into neighboring New Brunswick. The cops benefited by getting overtime earned for appearing in court, officers told the station.
It was an "unwritten understanding" within the department, Campbell told NBC 4 New York. Officers referred to it as "hunting at the border" an unnamed officer told NBC 4 New York in the report.
"We are adamant that those reprehensible activities have never been a policy or acceptable practice of this administration or under the leadership of Public Safety Director Kenneth McCormick or Deputy Chief Joseph Battaglia," Womack wrote in a statement.
Womac said that the department did an internal investigation when allegations were first raised in October, and that he has called for a third-party investigation "because we believe in transparency.” He did not reveal the results of he internal investigation in his statement.
The mayor said anyone who believes they have been targeted should report it to the department.
A spokesman for WNBC said Thursday that the station stands by its reporting.
Police spokesman Brian Hoiberg said in the township's statement that department could not comment for the NBC report, because one of the individuals interviewed has pending litigation against the department.
"It is simply a matter of someone saying awfully bad things about awfully good people. We have to stand up for those good people," Hoiberg said.
Womac outlined ways he said the department is transparent in its policies that he says protects both officers and civilians including recorded consent searches, body cams and laser video traffic patrols.
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