The Black residents of Trenton, NJ. can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that Bordentown Township Police Chief Frank Nucera has been taken into custody by the FBI. Nucera had recently retired from his command as police chief amid allegations of targeting Black people and using excessive force intentionally against Black people.
According to a copy of a complaint filed Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nucera, 60, of Bordentown, had a special hatred against African-Americans from Trenton.
“I wish that (n-word) would come back from Trenton and give me a reason to put my hands on him, I’m tired of ‘em. These ni**ers are 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. I used to think about if I could shoot someone or not, I could do it, I’m tired of it.”
These remarks by the police chief were secretly recorded by one of his officers back in November 2015 when Nucera suspected that a Black man that he had previously arrested slashed the tires of a police vehicle. What Nucera didn’t know was that this was one of many recordings of his tirades against Black people.
In the incident that has led to Nucera’s resignation and arrest, officers were called out to the Bordentown Ramada hotel September 1, 2016 about two individuals who were swimming in the hotel pool but had not paid for a room. The two individuals were an 18-year-old Black male and a 16-year-old Black female.
A scuffle ensued when police confronted the pair with one officer pepper spraying the male while calling for backup.
Nucera arrived on the scene with several other officers and once the pair was in handcuffs, Nucera grabbed the boy’s head and slammed it into a metal doorjamb sans provocation. An officer on the scene described it as a “loud thud”.
Nucera took it a step further taking a swing at the dazed boy’s head striking him.
An officer at the scene recorded the chief making racist remarks, the complaint says.
“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 18-year-old asked for medical assistance following the encounter due to a possible concussion and an EMS arrived on the scene. According to news reports, the technician called the boy a “dumbass” while Nucera referred to the teen as a “f**king little, f**king ni**er.”
When Nucera found out that the pair was in town from Trenton he said, “Stay the f**k out of Bordentown. Now they can go home and tell them, you can go to.”
For over year the officer who first brought Nucera’s racist remarks to light has been recording the police chief. He initially didn’t come out against the Blue Code of Silence for fear of retribution at the hands of the police chief. The officer told the feds he began recording his boss because he became “increasingly alarmed” by Nucera’s “racist remarks and hostility toward Black people.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Nucera would use K-9 units to intimidate the Black community.
According to the complaint, Bordentown would provide security for local high school basketball games. At these games Nucera allegedly ordered the dogs to be stationed at the entrance of the gym to intimidate black patrons.
On April 30, 2016, Nucera directed an officer to walk a police dog through an apartment complex to “let these f**king moulies see him.”
“Let ‘em see him. I don’t care,” Nucera said on the recorded conversation.
Bragging upon the dog’s powers, Nucera said, “You’d have seen two f**king ni**ers top dead in their tracks.”
“I love that when they do that. I just love that,” the chief reportedly said.
Bordentown Township, a southern New Jersey town of 12,000 residents, is a mostly white suburb of Trenton where 75% of the residents are White and 10% are Black.
Nucera appeared in court Wednesday afternoon in Camden and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He was released on a bail of $500,000.
“The conduct alleged is shocking,” acting US Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said at a news conference. “It’s a shocking breach of the duty of every police officer to provide equal justice under the law and to never mistreat a person in their custody.”
The town’s mayor called the charges “abhorrent.”
“The township appreciates the comments by the US Attorney … which reinforced what we already knew: that these charges are limited to one person, and are not indicative of the Bordentown Township Police Department, or the Township as a whole,” Mayor Steve Benowitz said in a statement. “It is important to note that these charges began from a self-reported complaint from within the township police department. The township has moved forward with new leadership that promotes community, inclusion, and equality.”
If convicted of each count, Nucera faces up to 20 years in prison.