A retired New Jersey police chief is facing a federal hate crime charge after the violent arrest of a Black teen in September 2016.
Former Bordentown Township police chief Frank Nucera Jr. is accused of assaulting the 18-year-old male when he responded as backup to an arrest over unpaid hotel fees. Nucera is said to have slammed the teen’s head against a doorjamb and hit him in the back of his neck, while taking him to a police car in a “clear senseless, bigoted, hate-filled,” assault.
The incident came to light when an officer at the scene recorded the chief making racist remarks.
“I’m f——-g tired of them, man. I’ll tell you what, it’s gonna get to the point where I could shoot one of these m——rf——-s. And that n——r b—-h lady, she almost got it,” the chief said, according to the complaint.
The officer had apparently been recording the chief for a year before reporting him to the Justice Department. He says it was common for Nucera to use racial slurs against Black people.
“The tone in which [Nucera] conducted himself and in what’s charged is one of the most disturbing and disgusting events I’ve seen in over 20 years in law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “The people who are most disgusted by it are members of the New Jersey law enforcement community, because this defendant made their jobs much harder.”
Nucera faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the hate crime charge and a charge of deprivation of rights by using excessive force during an arrest. He retired in January 2017.