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NJ leaders remember their experiences


The Jersey Four and its unique perspective on racial profiling

Kevin R. Wexler, Anne-Marie Caruso and Paul Wood Jr.,

A Black Essex County dentist who drove a luxury car said he was stopped by police more than 100 times in the 1990s. He never got a ticket.

A black state MP who was approached by a police officer at a rest stop on Garden State Parkway felt purposeful and uncomfortable when the officer accused her of leaving trash when there was no trash around her car. This woman became New Jersey’s first black lieutenant governor.

A black MP from New Jersey shared the humiliation he felt after being convicted by a soldier for no reason. Behind the wheel of a high-end rental car, the legislature was en route to Trenton, where he led the prosecution to pass laws preventing racial profiling. Now he leads the dominant democratic party in the state.

A New Jersey Black Superior Court judge – and former director of the Newark Police and Fire Department – described being falsely charged with shoplifting at the Short Hills Mall.

A group of four young Black and Hispanic men stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike were shot and injured by two state troopers in 1998. This shootout and efforts to combat racial profiling are detailed in’s Jersey Four project released this week. became a controversial chapter in New Jersey history – one that wasn’t limited to this spring day and these four men.

Related: A timeline from Jersey Four

Watch below as four prominent New Jersey leaders share how they were attacked by law enforcement and how it made them feel.

Do you have any experience with racial profiling that you would like to share? Email reporter Ashley Balcerzak at [email protected]

Dr. Elmo Randolph shares his difficulties in being racially profiled by the NJ State Police

Tariq Zehawi,

“My parents warned me about what you should and shouldn’t do. To be respected and no, you can’t question this kind of authority, not when they are armed and have the ability to steal your freedom or your life. ”

Lt.  Gov.  Sheila Oliver

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver shares her experience with racial profiling

Anne-Marie Caruso,

“I went there feeling uncomfortable and I went there with a sense of purpose. Why was I being selected by cars in this large parking lot for a soldier to come up to me for dropping a piece of paper on the floor? It annoys you that you are a law abiding citizen, that you obey all the rules … you scored all selves and you crossed all ts, but you are still subject to a question mark. “

LeRoy Jones, chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee

“A lesson learned:” The politician LeRoy Jones says that he was racially profiled

Anne-Marie Caruso,

“I was angry. I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was more of just a humiliation, but it was also a lesson I learned … I want to make this clear, there are really good officers, a lot of them, “You can be proud. One of the things I’m particularly proud of is my son. However, there seems to be a minority who feel the need to take over the authorities they have, instead ignoring the essence of protection and service they abuse and harass. “

Judge Claude Coleman

Former New Jersey judge Claude Coleman says he was racially profiled while shopping

Danielle Parhizkaran,

“No matter who you are or what you do to erase these things or try to pull you up, it doesn’t matter if you are black. To them, you’re just another black man. You really don’t want to call it racism, but I think I’ve since learned that this is what it really is. And you shouldn’t be afraid to call it that. There is no other explanation for it. “

Ashley Balcerzak is a reporter covering affordable housing and the intersection of our lives in New Jersey. To get unrestricted access to their work, subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @abalcerzak

Released 01:29 UTC Oct 14, 2021
Updated October 14, 2021 at 01:09 UTC


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