Gov. Murphy offers support for protests, AG Grewal announces measures to strengthen police-community trust

Gov. Phil Murphy offered his support for peaceful protesters, while Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced new measures to continue to strengthen the trust between police and the community.
Murphy’s comments came two days after protests in Trenton and Atlantic City started off peacefully, but ended with looting and vandalism. A protest rally in Asbury Park a day later also started off peacefully, but ended with several police officers being injured.
“One depressed fracture to the skull, one bitten on the leg, one with stitches to the chin,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan.
Grewal said that police in New Jersey may face additional licensing requirements. It is a pilot program set to begin in Atlantic City, Millville, Paterson and Trenton.
“We share your anger and your commitment to change,” Grewal said. “We last updated this policy in 2000 and a lot has changed in 20 years."
But despite some of the protests in New Jersey ending in chaos, the governor highlighted many of the peaceful protests held to honor the memory of George Floyd – a Minneapolis man who died after an encounter with police officers.
“The unity has been in peaceful protests for my taste and we’ve seen a lot of it,” Murphy said.
Photos: Protests from Around New Jersey
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The governor also said that he will not be asking President Donald Trump to send the United States military to New Jersey. More than 80 New Jersey National Guard members are in Washington D.C. acting in a support role. A group of protesters were dispersed outside of the White House Monday night.
“The notion of using tear gas or rubber bullets in exchange for a photo op is disgraceful,” Murphy said.
The governor says that despite his stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he supports the First Amendment right to protest.
Grewal also praised law enforcement officers who joined in on the protests in solidarity.
“Law enforcement marching side-by-side with our communities…in the natural law that Black Lives Matter,” said Grewal.
But the protests are taking place while thousands of Americans are out of work because of the pandemic. Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick says that he plans to hold a hearing with business leaders Wednesday afternoon to discuss New Jersey’s reopening plan.