Jersey City police shooting prompts demands from NAACP
Cyril Josh Barker | 8/1/2019, 1:19 p.m.
The police shooting of two Black men left wounded in Jersey City has the NAACP displeased over Mayor Steve Fulop’s response.
The shooting occurred earlier this month near the Arlington Gardens public housing complex when fireworks were being shot and police reportedly opened fire. A 19-year-old Black man and a 21-year-old Black man were both injured by police. No charges were filed.
Witnesses said the two men had Roman candle fireworks when police responded by shooting. Roman candles are usually held by hand as fireworks shoot out. One witness said two groups were shooting Roman candles at each other and police thought they were using guns.
“Our community want answers! We want to know how trained and experienced officers mistake fireworks for gunshots? This is not the community policing we asked for,” Pamela Johnson, executive director of the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement, said in a statement at the time.
A community meeting about the shooting was held at St. John’s Baptist Church where Fulop addressed the situation. Attendees said that he had a “dismissive tone and attitude” about the police shooting. They also said the mayor did not follow the attorney general’s guidelines when handling police shootings.
“Mayor Fulop’s antipathy toward the Black community was evident when he responded to the first question of the evening,” Jersey City NAACP President the Rev. Nathaniel Legay and Lincoln High School principal Chris Gadsden said in a joint statement. “Mayor Fulop refused to disavow his administration’s premature statement even after prosecutor Esther Suarez explained the protocol.”
The investigation into the shooting continues.