The former chief of a small township in New Jersey has been arrested on federal hate crime and civil rights charges for what federal authorities described as a pattern of racist comments and behavior — including slamming an African American teen’s head into a metal door jamb and saying that black people are “like ISIS.”
Frank Nucera Jr., 60, who had been chief of the Bordentown Township Police Department, was arrested, and the charges against him were unsealed Wednesday. The allegations are notable for the blatant racism they describe in a law enforcement leader.
According to a criminal complaint in the case, filed in federal district court in New Jersey, Nucera frequently referred to African Americans by racial slurs and espoused violence toward them. In November 2015, for example, when he was talking to a subordinate officer about an African American man he believed to have slashed the tires of a police vehicle, Nucera said, “I wish that n‑‑‑‑‑ would come back from Trenton and give me a reason to put my hands on him, I’m tired of ’em. 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, I could do it,” according to the complaint.
Nucera also used police dogs to intimidate African Americans, bringing canines to high school basketball games when his department was providing security and positioning them near the entrance to the gym, federal authorities alleged.
Efforts to reach Nucera’s family members were not immediately successful, and no lawyer was listed for him in court records. Federal authorities said Nucera retired from the police department shortly after New Jersey’s attorney general was informed of the investigation.
The Washington Post