Some Jersey City Police Department stories I’ve recently missed (heavily editorialized)
Real Jersey City publisher Michael Shurin produces one of his final pieces – editorializing some recent Jersey City Police Department stories he’s missed.
A few paragraphs down are heavily editorialized versions of news stories I’ve missed because I just don’t have the time, energy, resources, or mentality to finish them (or desire to waste sending another email to the overpaid Jersey City spokesperson).
Originally this piece included heavy criticism of some recent political attacks launched against Mayor Steven Fulop, but I just don’t care enough to defend him against some major political frauds at this time (plus I had to bring this post closer to 2,000 words).
For those interested – I probably have two to three more posts, including at least one police surveillance, until I hang it up. While I’m likely done with Real Jersey City, that doesn’t mean I can never “pop-up” again. It just means I don’t want to “pop-up” again. I want to move on with my life.
Fighting the good fight the past few years has essentially gotten me nowhere. I kind of expected that would happen, but I did what I could on the strength of my word and convictions.
In my opinion, two things ultimately hampered me – I have no ideological peers (moderate Republican/socially libertarian) and there isn’t any useful special interest groups that could gain from my political agenda vs. the establishment (unions, developers, etc.).
On top of those two things, a lot of people probably don’t like me on a personal level – which I could careless about (which is also a problem because I should care). I’m not saying I’m the greatest, smartest, or most ethical person, just someone that’s aimed to do the right thing, be consistent, and bring attention – hopefully fundamental change – to important issues that have been overlooked and deserve public scrutiny.
Anyhow, enough about me, which I’ve been talking about too much on this website of recent. On to the heavily editorialized stories:
HCPO-IAU sends Corso-Lincoln Park complaint to JCPD, JCPD-IAU requests Crowley footage
Before I begin, here’s a timeline of letters:
April 18, 2016 – I Publish my Open Letter to Gov. Chris Christie.
April 19, 2016 – The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) sends me a letter informing me that they were forwarding my complaint regarding Sgt. Vincent Corso allegedly sleeping on duty in Lincoln Park – which I filed upon request from members of the Board of Freeholders – to the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) IAU.
April 20, 2016 – The JCPD IAU sends me a letter saying they opened an investigation into my surveillance story regarding Lt. Terrence Crowley and want all of my videotape of him.
Before I continue, let’s not forget that I’ve been waiting for about 70 days and counting for the city to release me regular and off-duty timesheets of multiple officers I requested via the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). According to sources, most, if not all, of the timesheet records I’ve requested have been touched by the JCPD IAU.
Some requests involve officers from the JCPD IAU, filed on March 11, 2016, including the sergeant who sent me the letter.
So let’s get this straight:
1. My complaint with the HCPO IAU was due to the fact that Public Safety Director James Shea is illegally operating the JCPD IAU in an extremely political manner. So instead of taking action, because Esther Suarez probably wouldn’t let that happen to a former Scarinci client (Corso in the civil suit for killing Michael Anglin), and possibly because Peter Stoma got a promotion, they send it back to the JCPD IAU. Makes sense.
2. I’m supposed to have some sort of faith in a JCPD IAU investigation when they’ve shown not only a lack of good faith through OPRA requests, as part of the Fulop Administration, but likely manufactured timesheets (if they didn’t, who made up Lt. Flora’s timesheet?). Makes sense.
3. If JCPD IAU wants to do a real investigation on Lt. Crowley they don’t need me, but I’ll tell them how to do their jobs in three steps – Look at the car he took home on the three nights from the video, get his E-Z Pass records, interrogate him like you guys didn’t just let him off for double-dipping on jobs. Makes sense.
Seems like they’re trying to cover their tracks, which makes sense if you’re involved with public misconduct.
Capt. Edgar Martinez’s ‘hostile takeover’ of Pershing Field little league raises questions
This has to be the most bizarre political move I’ve seen in some time, but anything is possible in Jersey City.
To keep a long story short, the JCPD’s North District is now operating the little league there as part of a “community” relationship. This relationship includes on-duty officers participating in activities surrounding the little league – which I’ve witnessed first hand.
Even if Capt. Edgar Martinez, in conjunction with Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera, are doing this out of the best interest of kids, there’s still at least three questions that need to be answered:
1. If Capt. Martinez and his North District crew are “cleaning up” Pershing Field now that he’s essentially in charge of the little league, why did they let it get to that point in the first place? Last I checked you don’t commend people for doing their jobs, and getting tough on dangerous activity in a park is what the police are supposed to do. Running a little league is above and beyond their duty.
2. Supposedly Councilman Rivera claimed that he can get the JCPD Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) to run background checks for free. I really hope that’s not true. I’d rather it be that I’m not reading this information properly and that I’m ignorant about how background checks work, or simply given false information.
3. Why was this done in such a ‘hostile’ manner? Seriously, I spoke on the phone with a statewide Babe Ruth League official, and they weren’t shy in discussing some of the aggressive calls they received by the JCPD over recognition of a board (this is why it’s a Pony League now). Maybe the people running the league the past few decades weren’t that great, but Martinez couldn’t work with them at all? I’m sure there’s something good and bad to be said about both sides of this issue, but you know something bigger was being plotted when you read this Hudson Reporter article (did they even attempt to cover both sides of the issue? Or fact check if “Matt Bogler” was a police officer who was shot in the head in the line of duty?).
The III%ers Trial
Of all the stories I’ve missed, this one upsets me the most.
The Jersey Journal has barely covered it, but the case certainly deserves more attention than what it’s received so far. Unfortunately, as I’ve been told, I cannot record in the court because I don’t have a 2016 press pass (nor do I have the resources to go everyday).
Simply put, there really should be no room for extreme politics in the JCPD – whether it’s 3%-ers or 5%-ers. Kudos to DeFazio – “crybaby” or not, and I’m going to say he’s not – for exposing this stupidity (win or lose in court on legal grounds).
If you don’t think such crazy ideas can lead to dangerous outcomes, just read this snippet from a recent Gawker article:
Last fall, a man affiliated with the group opened fire on a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Minneapolis, wounding five. In 2011, four self-described “militiamen” were arrested and charged with planning to purchase explosives and the biological toxin ricin in a plot to attack American citizens and government officials in Atlanta, Georgia, inspired by a book written by the Three Pecenter’s founder Mike Vanderboegh, who later ridiculed their plans.
Jersey City ESU Cop’s Facebook filled with questionable right-wing commentary
Continuing on the 3%er theme – It should be noted that officer Eric Tavarez was actually mentioned in DeFazio’s original lawsuit, but was later removed by a judge.
Also, I don’t know if people have falsely assumed, because of their ethnicity, that Tavarez and Councilman Rivera are somehow related, but it’s been suggested from different sources. If they aren’t, I’m truly sorry for mentioning it, but I got a feeling at the least they’re politically linked up.
Tavarez has even shared some of his political views with the councilman on social media, but Rivera hasn’t gone on the record yet on whether he thinks the Convention of States is “Our Last Hope to Restore the Republic”:
Anyhow, I think anytime a police officer writes on Facebook that they “drink whiskey” because it keeps them “angry” so they “don’t blindly follow sheep,” there might need to be a mental health evaluation.
Among less controversial things, Tavarez also talks about minorities being brainwashed to vote Democrat and that America has a socialist education system. Seriously, is it really that absurd to believe? It’s not like we don’t have a socialist police system, one that Tavarez definitely benefits from.
In corporate America, the real world in general, people get fired for this stuff – not so much in the socialist JCPD.
I did recently ask Rivera – in person – if Tavarez turned down some type of job offer from Chief Zacche to move out of the Emergency Services Unit (ESU), if he setup the job offer, and if they were related. Rivera declined to answer all three parts of the question, but I think I got the answer from his facial expression.
(NOTE: I know some people took exception to me bringing up “Puerto Rican Privilege” in a previous piece. I just want to be clear, even though I’m not big on ethnic privilege in law enforcement – something whites of many ethnic backgrounds have benefited from depending on the agency for a long time – in a way I’m kind of happy that Latinos are diversifying that bad idea in Jersey City.)
I don’t want to police Tavarez’s speech, but the drinking whiskey line, mixed with the right-wing mindset, and the fact that taxpayers have already paid out $500,000 for a shooting he was involved in, certainly merits administrative scrutiny.
This is on top of a documented controversy involving him allegedly taking a sniper rifle outside of a JCPD facility improperly.
Bottom line – there’s a clear taxpayer liability issue here if anything goes wrong with him. I hope the administration finds a place in the JCPD where the chance for something to go wrong is limited, if they haven’t already, and other cops be a little bit more mindful about commentary on social media (if I can find it, so can a defense lawyer).
Despite Tavarez’s right-wing leanings, he still has a good sense of humor:
Two Lieutenants had a “scuffle” in front of the South District
The title is the story, but really not much of a story (outside of the potential for a viral Facebook video).
Actually, wait, there is a story – the Fulop Administration claims they had no responsive records when I filed an OPRA request for the CCTV footage.
Vogt tops Corso for Jersey City F.O.P. Lodge #4 President
An educated guess tells me at least one person read my article on Sgt. Vincent Corso’s campaign letter and showed up to vote against, but a more organized effort may have been at play.
Just throwing this theory out there for fun – Fulop called up the county folks (Healy people), who Vogt is supposedly close with, and requested calls be made so Corso wouldn’t get the spot.
Simply put, Fulop wouldn’t want to publicly explain an endorsement from Corso – which is all a politician would care about with the F.O.P.
That’s just a theory, but could this also be a signal that Robert Kearns and Jimmy Carroll will soon be voted out of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA) leadership?
Before I forget – When Corso is telling people that nothing is going to happen from my stories, how am I supposed to trust the JCPD IAU?
Also of note, Vogt’s team may not be fans of John Kasich based off the retweet below (which was made after the Vogt announcement).
The Big Tamale
Finally, what would I be without “The Big Tamale”?
Don’t worry, Steve, I’ve been watching a lot more than stealing time and how to turn a Cadillac into a Chevy.
Do you think I’m bluffing? Or just waiting for the right moment?