Ex-police chief accused of hate crime, excessive force

Posted: Updated:

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a white police chief in New Jersey used excessive force against a handcuffed young African-American man all because of the color of his skin.

Authorities on Wednesday announced civil rights and hate crime charges against Frank Nucera. Nucera retired as Bordentown Township police chief while under FBI investigation in January.

According to court documents, Nucera approached the 18-year-old African-American from behind and slammed his head into a doorjamb while the suspect was being escorted by two officers from a hotel.

Prosecutors said Nucera had a history of making racist comments and used police dogs to intimidate African-Americans.

One of his police officers secretly recorded Nucera's comments.

Nucera waived his preliminary hearing, and a federal judge allowed him to return home Wednesday afternoon. The judge ordered that Nucera turn over his firearms and travel documents to authorities. His attorney declined to comment after the court hearing.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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