New Jersey Libertarian Party

The Party of Principle

Police Accountability Project

The Police Accountability Project is a committee of the NJ Libertarian Party. Its goal is to search out cases of police misconduct, file former Internal Affairs (IA) complaints when appropriate, and to publicize violations of rules and laws by the police. There may be other stories posted on the NJLP Police Internal Affairs Complaint Blog page.

This committee has been newly created. If you would like to help or know of a case we should be looking at, contact the committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Officer Rios Let Off The Hook on Police Brutality Charges

Back in 2009 we reported on Officer Joseph Rios beating a homeless man for no apparent reason in Passaic.

Superior Court Judge Donald J. Volkert Jr. has acquitted Officer Rios of a police brutality charge. Now that he has been acquitted one may assume that he will receive back pay for the time he has been on leave.

Meanwhile the victim, Ronnie Hollaway has received a $350,000 settlement from the city for the attack.

Newark Police - "I can do whatever I want"

UPDATE: The video I posted was just uploaded last week, however I just learned that this is incident occured in 2008. A more informative video from the ACLU of NJ can be seen here. The Officer, Brian Sharif, was suspended however he currently works as a special officer for the Newark government schools.

NJLP Takes Issue with Police Officer Who Performed Illegal Stop

Following is the New Jersey Libertarian Party Police Accountability Project's open letter to the mayor and council of Merchantville Borough (Camden County).

At issue is: A motor vehicle stop and an arrest were made by Merchantville Police officers in another municipality and a judge found that no probable cause existed for the stop. The stopped and arrested
motorist sued the police and recovered an $11,000 settlement. Yet, the Mercantville Internal Affairs Unit found that the officers "followed the appropriate departmental policies and procedures."

Read more ...

Perfunctory, uninformative dismissal of NJLP Internal Affairs complaint

On May 19, 2011, the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project filed an Internal Affairs Complaint against State Trooper Scott Sanders. The complaint was based on a decision of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in which a two judge panel found that Sanders conducted an improper, warrantless search of a motor vehicle.

The court's decision caused suppression of "five dime bags of high grade marijuana, approximately a half ounce of cocaine, seven bricks of heroin, and five sealed blunts containing tobacco." Because of evidence the suppressed, the conviction and the six year prison sentence against the driver was reversed.

Read more ...

NJLP Complaint Results in Conviction Being Reversed and Fines Refunded

Last week we reported on Maplewood Township enforcing a repealed ordinance against "public intoxication."

A letter concerning the matter was sent to the Essex County Trial Court Administrator. As a result of the letter, Mr. White's conviction has been reversed and his fines have been refunded.

The reply we received from the Trial Court Administrator can be viewed here.

Maplewood Police Enforcing Repealed Ordinance

In April 2010, Police in Maplewood Township (Essex County) cited a man for violating the Township's "public intoxication" code even though the Township Committee repealed that provision of the code approximately a year and a half earlier. The municipal court accepted the man's guilty plea and assessed $80 in fines and costs.

Read more ...

NJLP Takes Action Against Officials Who Act Above the Law

Libertarians demand that cops live under the same laws as the rest of us

Contact: Jay Edgar
Office: 732-962-NJLP
Cell: 848-525-0578
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For Immediate Release

Tennent, NJ, May 18, 2011: Prompted by recent Star Ledger articles regarding police officers' habitual failure to enforce drunk driving laws against State Trooper Sheila McKaig, the New Jersey Libertarian Party (NJLP) has formally petitioned the New Jersey Attorney General to take corrective action.

On May 16, 2011, the NJLP State Board unanimously voted to send a "petition for rulemaking" to Attorney General Paula Dow asking for "some rules that genuinely and substantially address the problem of police showing favoritism to fellow officers. A copy of the petition, which was submitted to Dow on May 17, 2011, is on-line at http://njlp.org/uploads/petitionToAG.pdf.

Read more ...

Should cop who pled guilty in shooting be required to forfeit his job?

Today, I wrote the following letter, which should be self explanatory, to Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford. The exhibits referred to in the letter are on-line here: http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2010105pJ//b10418HolmesExhibits.pdf

John Paff

Somerset, New Jersey

------------------------------

April 18, 2011

Marlene Lynch Ford, Esq.

Ocean County Prosecutor's Office
119 Hooper Ave
Toms River, NJ, 08754  (via E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

RE: State v. Holmes
Ind. No. 10-06-01190-A

Dear Prosecutor Ford:

Karl de Vries's August 27, 2010 Star Ledger article ("Hillside cop receives 3 years probation in domestic shooting") reported that Hillside police detective James Holmes was sentenced to three years probation for "shooting his stepson during a domestic dispute in his Toms River home." A copy of that article is attached as Exhibit Page 1.

After reading that article, I endeavored to learn whether Officer Holmes was, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2, a) required to forfeit his position as a Hillside police officer and b) disallowed from holding public office or employment in the future.

Read more ...

Crime, Security, and the Police State

As reported previously, during our visit to Camden, we found that the residents are living in a police state. The residents we interviewed described how they were constantly harassed by the police merely for hanging out. Earlier this year the Camden police were accused of terrorizing the neighborhood and were found to have been conducting illegal searches and planting drugs on innocent people.

In Newark, allegations of police brutality have abounded for the past few years. Officers have been accused of shaking down drug dealers, The ACLU has made the charge that police misconduct is rampant in Newark.

The NJLP Open Government Advocacy Project has uncovered confidential payments to settle police misconduct claims in both Camden and Newark.

This past week Camden has announced plans to lay off 213 police officers, leaving 162 officers still on the force. After the layoff, this equates to 18.4 officers per square mile of land and 2.1 officers for every 1,000 residents.

Newark is laying off 167 officers, leaving 1,098 officers on the force. After the layoff, this equates to 46.1 officers per square mile of land and 3.9 officers for every 1,000 residents.

Read more ...

Former Passaic County Sheriff Under Investigation

Former Passaic County Sheriff, Jerry Speziale, is being investigated for giving sheriff badges out in exchange for campaign donations and for using the county motor pool to have automobile repairs performed for campaign donors.

On August 10th Jerry Speziale resigned his position as sheriff to take a $198,510 job with the Port Authority Police as Deputy Superintendent. He was appointed to this position by Governor Christie.

Like Assemblyman David Rible, Mr. Speziale, collects a government salary while collecting disability payments. He receives $58,000 a year in disability payments from the NYPD. He retired on a disability in 1997.

Read More On the Investigation Here...

Read more on his new cushy job here...

Freeholder's Brother Not Prosecuted

The NJLP Open Government Task Force joined forces with the Union County Watchdog Association to ask why Gennaro Mirabella, a 17 year veteran of the Garwood Borough Police Department (and brother of a Union County Freeholder) was not prosecuted after reportedly having been caught on videotape breaking the law.

Read more ...