New Jersey AG wants to change state’s police ‘Use of Force’ policy; seeks public comment

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wants to change the state’s police “Use of Force” policy.

News 12 Staff

Jun 13, 2020, 2:11 AM

Updated 1,407 days ago

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New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wants to change the state’s police “Use of Force” policy.
The plan comes after two incidents with police over the past two months, along with a nationwide discussion about police brutality.
In New Jersey, a white New Jersey state trooper shot and killed a black man on the Garden State Parkway in Bass River after the man was being pulled over for speeding. During the stop, his car broke down. After sitting in the police cruise while waiting for a tow truck, Maurice Gordon got out and started to struggle with the trooper. Gordon was shot six times during the struggle.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office released bodycam footage from a pepper-spraying incident in Woodlynne. Officer Ryan Dubiel is seen spraying two people unprovoked. He is facing charges.
Under the current state protocols, police can use force only when someone refuses to comply or makes a threat. Authorities say that neither bar was met during the Camden County incident
Part of Grewal’s new plan involves launching an online portal for public comment. His office will be organizing community listening sessions in all 21 counties.
“The Use of Force policy affects everyone, and so everyone should have the opportunity to weigh in on its revisions,” Grewal said in a statement. “We want to hear from a board cross-section of our state.”
Grewal said that he especially wants to hear from people who have had negative experiences with law enforcement officers “because we are committed to getting this right.”
Photos: Protests Across New Jersey
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The public portal will accept submissions through Aug. 1. Grewal is encouraging people to discuss when they feel it is acceptable to use less-than-lethal uses of force - including rubber bullets and netting, and other aspects of improving policing in New Jersey.
This would be the first time that New Jersey’s Use of Force policy would be updated in 20 years. Grewal says that the goal is to have more transparency from law enforcement.
Grewal will also host an online forum on June 24 to discuss possible revisions to the policy.


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