New Jersey AG to create new system for holding problem cops accountable

"We are committed to working as a coalition to build a use of force reporting system in this state that can stand a...

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday that his office will create a new system for keeping police officers accountable when they use force during arrests.

The announcement, made in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, comes roughly two months after the Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com published a troubling database of every police use-of-force incident in the state between 2012 and 2016.

“Over the last 17 months, that newspaper put together a model of what we should be doing. And so, we are committed to working as a coalition to build a use of force reporting system in this state that can stand as a model to other states,” said Grewal during a community meeting held at Union Baptist Temple in Bridgeton, adding that his office hopes to buy the newspaper’s data...

...The system has been criticized because use-of-force incidents must be ruled “excessive, unjustified, or unreasonable” by a court or an internal investigation to be considered a violation.

On Wednesday, residents expressed skepticism that the attorney general’s forthcoming effort would make a difference.

“The fish that you’re trying to catch, I don’t know if they make a hook big enough,” said resident Steven Jones.

In response, Grewal offered an answer he repeated throughout the night.

“It’s a systemic problem, it’s a historical issue, and we’re working hard to restore that trust and restore that accountability,” he said.

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