ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha today released the statement below following the OAG’s announcement that they have assumed control of the Paterson Police Department:
“Today’s announcement by the New Jersey Attorney General is a welcome step given the abusive, violent, and harmful policing that has been endemic in Paterson for years, and that, most recently, claimed the life of Najee Seabrooks. Despite what some politicians have expressed, acts of violence by police are not isolated events and require systemic change. As Attorney General Platkin said, ‘the status quo is not addressing these longstanding issues.’ The people of Paterson have for too long faced repeated injustice, including harassment, violations of rights, brutality, and even death at the hands of police.
“As we await next steps it is imperative that Paterson community leaders have a voice at the table, alongside the OAG and others. We hope that this process is a collaborative one that will help bring about trust and integrity to the Paterson Police Department, and safety from police violence for the people of Paterson. The community deserves nothing less. The ACLU-NJ stands ready to work with community members, stakeholders, and officials to make sure this process is a meaningful one that helps achieve accountability.”