Tragic shooting strikes deep in diverse Jersey City

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Tuesday's deadly shootout in Jersey City struck the fabric of a city that statistically has been among the most diverse in the country.

Bayview Cemetery, where Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals was gunned down, sits atop a hill overlooking New York Bay, where the Statue of Liberty sits in Jersey City waters. Police went door to door in the houses across the street, looking for clues into Seals' murder.

A mile away down Martin Luther King Drive, in front of the boarded up Jewish grocery store where the suspects killed three more people, stood Mayor Steve Fulop, grandson of Holocaust survivors, who grew up stocking shelves in his parents' deli.

Investigators hadn't declared a motive at the time, but Fulop called it as he saw it.

"There is no question that this is a hate crime, and anti-Semitism should be called out firmly, immediately for what it is," said Fulop.

Before that place was MLK Drive, it was Jackson Avenue, named after Thomas and John Vreeland Jackson, freed slaves whose property was a stop on the Underground Railroad. In the early 20th century, it had many thriving, Jewish-owned shops. Then it became a largely black community before budding with a Jewish population once again.

"We are the most diverse city in the country and we are accepting to everyone," says Councilman Jermaine Robinson. "I'm proud to be a black American, I'm proud to be here in this community and share this community with everyone who calls Jersey City home."

"We are very welcoming to everyone," says Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. "I was born and raised right here in Jersey City and I want everyone to know that this community is one. So we are all mourning together."

And so Fulop and other officials called the massacre for what it was -- a crime not only against police and the Jewish community, but against all of the city, and all that it stands for.

 

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