Group calls for Elizabeth police director to resign for using racist, misogynistic language

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An African American advocacy group is calling for the Elizabeth police director to resign after he was caught using racist and sexist language in the workplace.

A Union County Prosecutor’s Office investigation found that Director James Cosgrove “has used derogatory terms in the workplace when speaking about city employees.” This is against city policy, but Cosgrove is still in his position.

Attorney Josh McMahon represents several police department employees whom he describes as whistleblowers. He says that Cosgrove referred “to city employees in the most vile, pernicious language. Calling them ‘the N-word’ and ‘the C-word.’”

Members of the African-American Alliance in Elizabeth want Cosgrove to step down.

“[His comments] are reprehensible. They are misogynistic and they’re racist,” says activist Shirley Clay. “There is no other way, there is no other option but to get this man out of office.”

Elizabeth’s mayor appointed Cosgrove to his position. A spokesperson for the city did not have a comment on the allegations.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is now taking over the Internal Affairs Division of the Elizabeth Police Department.

The Elizabeth spokesperson says in a statement, "A complaint has been filed against Police Chief John Brennan by a police officer and this complaint warrants the attention of the Union County Prosecutor's Office."

The statement continued, “The City of Elizabeth is cooperating with the Union County Prosecutor office as they assume the oversight of the Internal Affairs Division."

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