The State Troopers Fraternal Association wants Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to rescind an order that would require all law enforcement agencies in the state to name officers involved in serious violations over the last two decades.
“The retrospective attachment of Troopers’ names and republishing old annual reports serves absolutely no legitimate purpose other than to harass, embarrass, and rehash past incidents during a time of severe anti-law enforcement sentiment,” the union said in a letter provided to the New Jersey Globe. “It can’t possibly be a deterrent because the violations have already occurred and the suspensions have already been served.”
On Monday, Grewal announced a directive that will compel state, county and local law enforcement agencies to disclose the identities of officers who are terminated, demoted or suspended for five or more days as part of a disciplinary proceeding.
The New Jersey State Police is also releasing the identities of troopers subject to such major disciplinary actions over the last 20 years by July 15.
“It makes no sense to unmask and re-punish Troopers for administrative violations committed years ago,” the letter said. “Furthermore, a significant portion of names would include former Troopers who have been granted honorable retirements and are no longer involved in law enforcement.”
The directive cam amid weeks of nationwide protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, who was killed after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes.
The protests have touched New Jersey, where protests have remained peaceful aside from a handful of demonstrations in Atlantic City, Trenton and Asbury Park.
The union’s letter said the group was willing to consider releasing the names of officers who were terminated or found guilty of racial bias or of using excessive force.
“We ask the Attorney General to rescind this order, meet with us on this topic, and find sensible common ground together as we have done so many times before,” they said.