‘Stop & Steal’: Jersey City cop accused of $600 theft, official misconduct

JCPD officer Denzel Suitt was indicted by a Hudson County grand jury for Theft by Unlawful Taking and Official Misconduct for allegedly stealing $600 while conducting a stop.

JCPD Officer Denzel Suitt (PHOTOS: Facebook, City of Jersey City).

When Denzel Suitt was sworn into the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) during a June 2015 ceremony, he saluted ex-JCPD Police Chief Philip Zacche as he was handed his badge.

Though the future might have seemed bright for both men at the time, since that ceremony Zacche was convicted by federal authorities for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA), and last month Suitt was indicted by a Hudson County grand jury for allegedly stealing $600 while conducting a stop.

As detailed in the indictment, on March 25, 2018, Suitt conducted a stop of Jermaine Palms – during which the officer allegedly stole $600. Because Suitt is accused of committing the theft while on duty, he was charged with Official Misconduct (N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2) in addition to Theft by Unlawful Taking (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3).

A copy of the indictment was obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO). According to a personnel order obtained by Real Jersey City, Suitt was suspended without pay by the JCPD effective February 14, 2019.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Suitt allegedly took the money from Palms during a traffic stop. Shortly thereafter, possibly the following day, Palms supposedly went to the JCPD’s South District seeking the funds and Suitt partially reimbursed him outside of the district, but refused to give anything more. After receiving partial restitution, Palms apparently reported what had allegedly transpired to the JCPD’s Internal Affairs Unit.

Of note, Suitt was featured in a 2015 News 12 NJ report promoting foot patrol initiatives implemented by the JCPD. He’s quoted saying that the patrols show residents “we have personalities too and we were just like them at one point and still are.”

Real Jersey City was unable to contact Palms or Suitt for comment on this story.

Jersey City spokesperson Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione declined to respond to an email seeking comment on Suitt’s indictment. It’s considered official Fulop Administration policy to ignore this journalist.

Publisher’s Note: This article has been updated to remove mention of a possible arrest during the traffic stop, which was based on sources familiar with the situation, but not directly confirmed.

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