Leaders of social and philanthropic organizations that serve Newark also urge passage of George Floyd Justice in Policing Act


Editor’s note: Co-signatories of this statement are listed at the end.

We join those across the state and country mourning the death of Tyre Nichols, who tragically lost his life at the hands of police violence. We as the collective social and philanthropic organizations serving the Newark community are once again saddened by the senseless loss of life. We also applaud Mayor Ras Baraka’s office in continuing the probe of the death of Carl Dorsey III, who was shot on New Year’s Day, 2021, unarmed.

We as a community continue to be outraged by the targeting of Black and brown people at the hands of police violence. Since Jan. 1, 2023, 110 individuals have died as a result of being shot by a police officer.

We join the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s call for New Jersey to pass the ban on deadly chokeholds and establish civilian review boards in order to hold police accountable. We also urge our federal legislators to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it also lowers the criminal intent standard — from willful to knowing or reckless — to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution; limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice in pattern-or-practice investigations.

It establishes a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds and carotid holds.

The bill creates a national registry — the National Police Misconduct Registry — to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It also establishes new reporting requirements, including on the use of force, officer misconduct and routine policing practices (e.g., stops and searches).

Finally, it directs the Department of Justice to create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.

We also collectively agree to work toward the recommendations made by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice in Refunding Communities to

  • strengthen community-based responses to address public safety;
  • increase funding for creating and expanding community responder programs;
  • invest resources, including actively advocating for restorative justice and additional school resources like nurses and social workers;
  • work toward more investment in community-based resources like mental health supports and affordable housing.

In addition, there is a need to acknowledge and address the issue of financial wherewithal, opportunity and stability. While this may seem to move afield of the public safety/anti-violence issues usually related to incidents of police brutality and misconduct, it is a core element of the environmental landscape within which these incidents occur. Our work in this area will also include challenging structural barriers to workforce training along with racial biases in business hiring practices.

The senseless deaths of those at the hands of police brutality is a further call to action for us to invest more into our communities to ensure we are advocating for the right support and resources to ensure our communities are safe and free of violence.


Amina Bey, Executive Director, Newark Emergency Services for Families

Michael Bright, President and CEO, YMCA of Newark and Vicinity

Natasha Dyer, Executive Director, Greater Newark Conservancy

Hazel Applewhite, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation

Peter Rosario, Executive Director, LaCasa de Don Pedro

Craig Mainor, Executive Director, United Community Corporation

Craig Drinkard, Executive Officer, The Victoria Foundation

Vivian Fraser, President and CEO, Urban League of Essex County

Robert Budsock, President and CEO, Integrity House, Inc.

Khaatim Sherrer El, Executive Director, Clinton Hill Community Action

Simone Gagneron, President and CEO, New Community Corporation

Jorge Cruz, President and CEO, Greater Newark LISC

Dominique Lee, CEO, BRICK Education Network