TOMS RIVER, NJ – Jack Ciattarelli, the man who is challenging Governor Phil Murphy on the Republican side of the aisle in 2021 said Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal have gone too far. Ciatarelli said this week that their new knee-jerk scheme to shame the state’s police officers for transgressions, some decades-old is out of line.
“As a state and country, we must take decisive action to ensure bad cops are out of uniform and off the streets. That includes releasing the names of law enforcement officers terminated or found guilty of violations such as excessive use of force or racial bias. However, Attorney General Grewal’s unilateral decision to publicly name state troopers disciplined as far back as 20 years ago, many for minor administrative violations, is a bridge too far,” Ciattarelli said. “I agree with the police unions who rightfully say that the plan to unmask and re-punish troopers for decades-old and long since resolved issues serves no legitimate purpose. It is particularly galling given that Governor Murphy and AG Grewal push this ill-conceived plan at the same time they eagerly expunge the records of individuals convicted of crimes like armed robbery.”
Ciattarelli asked how is it possible that the state removes the names of criminal offenders from the Department of Corrections Offender Search web page after a year, but wants to post in perpetuity the names of troopers with an administrative violation? Under guidelines in many county jails, inmate information the public websites are flushed the minute the offender gets set free under the New Jersey bail reform law. Often times prisoners are released before their mugshots even make it to the county websites.
“That’s absurd. It’s political grandstanding at its worst,” he said.
“A good number of the names that AG Grewal plans to release include troopers granted retirement or no longer involved in law enforcement. Some have even passed away, leaving their families to see the names of their loved ones dragged through the mud with no ability to defend themselves,” Ciattarelli said. “I join with the police unions in calling on the AG to protect troopers and their families from becoming potential targets of violence or harassment, rescind his order, and come up with a more reasonable and appropriate plan.”
At this time Ciattarelli is the only candidate from the Republican side who has announced he will run against Phil Murphy next year.