Retired New Jersey police chief convicted of lying to feds in hate probe
A retired New Jersey police chief was found guilty on Wednesday of lying to the FBI during a hate crime investigation in which he was accused of using excessive force against a black man.
Jurors found the ex-chief, Frank Nucera, guilty of one count during his federal trial. They could not reach a verdict on two other counts: hate crime assault and deprivation of civil rights.
Prosecutors allege the former Bordentown Township police chief slammed the head of a handcuffed 18-year-old black man against a doorjamb in September 2016 as he was being escorted from a hotel.
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Officers responded to the Ramada hotel amid complaints alleging that two teenagers who were not guests were swimming in the pool. During the arrest, Nucera, who is white, allegedly yelled racial slurs and derogatory remarks, The Courier-Post reported.
The indictment said the teenager, Timothy Stroye, was "loudly complaining" when Nucera approached him from behind and slammed his head into the metal doorjamb. The incident was reported by a police officer.
Nucera was recorded later that evening describing Stroye with profanity and the N-word, the indictment said. Prosecutors discovered that other officers had been secretly recording Nucera making racist comments for about a year.
In one recording, the former chief allegedly said that he was tired of African-Americans, and that “it’s getting to the point where I could shoot one.”
In a 2015 recording, Nucera allegedly said black people were "like ISIS, they have no value. They should line them all up and mow ’em down. I’d like to be on the firing squad, I could do it."
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The former chief has a history of using racially charged language and using police dogs to intimidate African-Americans, prosecutors said, adding that he harbored an "intense, senseless, irrational and bigoted view" of blacks.
Jurors will meet Thursday to decide whether to resume deliberations on the other two charges.
Nucera retired from the Bordentown Township force in 2017 after 34 years in law enforcement. He faces up to 20 years in prison and the loss of his police pension.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.