CAMDEN — A former South Jersey police chief is being charged with hate crimes and violating the civil rights of an African-American suspect during a September 2016 arrest.
Frank Nucera Jr., the former Bordentown Township Police chief, assaulted the handcuffed 18-year-old during a September 2016 arrest, slamming his head against a doorjamb and causing injuries, federal authorities say.
Authorities say the behavior was part of a pattern for Nucera, who was secretly recorded by a fellow officer over a period of about one year.
Among other allegations, a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Camden, says Nucera “ordered the racially discriminatory use of police dogs to intimidate African Americans,” including at high school basketball games.
The complaint asserts Nucera acted out of “intense racial animus,” citing his use of multiple slurs for black people.
“These niggers are like ISIS, they have no value,” he allegedly said after the 2015 arrest of a black suspect for slashing a police vehicle’s tires.
“They should line them all up and mow ’em all down,” Nucera said, according to the complaint. “I’d like to be on the firing squad, I could do it.”
The complaint says a department member, identified only as Officer 1, “surreptitiously” recorded Nucera’s comments “because he was increasingly alarmed by (Nucera’s) racist remarks and hostilities toward African Americans.”
Nucera’s alleged actions were ” a shocking breach of the duty of every police officer to provide equal justice under the law and never to mistreat a person in custody,” said William E. Fitzpatrick, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.