Feds may oversee Newark police after years of excessive force complaints

After years of complaints about excessive police force and misconduct in Newark, a federal monitor may soon oversee the department. (2/10/14)

NEWARK - After years of complaints about excessive police force and misconduct in Newark, a federal monitor may soon oversee the department.

ACLU Executive Director Udi Ofer says the organization documented 418 allegations of police misconduct over a two-and-a-half year period.

The Justice Department was asked to intervene and the ACLU believes a monitor is needed.

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The monitor would oversee the city's approximately 1,000-member police force. The head of the police union welcomes a monitor but questions what they will find. "I know frivolous complaints are made against the cops out in these streets every day," says Detective James Stewart.

Newark Police Director Sam DeMaio recently announced his retirement, leaving the door open for a change in leadership, which some believe should be a priority.

The ACLU is also calling for a permanent civilian monitor in addition to the federal one.

A city spokesperson told News 12 New Jersey that Newark is cooperating with the Justice Department, but added the city wants to make sure Newark's cost for a monitor is reasonable.

 

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