On June 28, 2018, the Asbury Park Press published a cartoon in its editorial section that was clearly a poor attempt at political satire.
Rather than encourage thoughtful discussion the cartoon was offensive to its directed audience; law enforcement and communities of color.
Publishing a cartoon, such as this, was intended to be no more than incendiary in nature, and simply for the purposes of selling more newspapers.
The cartoon, seen below, depicts a young person of color speaking, presumably to his mother, in what appears to be their home.
He is wearing a costume, complete with white hood, that is commonly associated with the “Ku Klux Klan.”
This young man tells his mother that he is wearing these clothes so that he is not “hassled” by the police.
The next scene of the cartoon has the young man passing by what looks like a headline related to a police shooting involving “another unarmed black man.”
A reference of any kind to the Ku Klux Klan is insulting and reprehensible and relating it to current police/community relations is appallingly insensitive.
We in New Jersey law enforcement are outraged by this unjustified attack on our profession and strongly feel that this, in no way, is an accurate reflection of the ongoing collaborative efforts undertaken with the communities we serve.
We have, for example, collectively engaged in substantial and meaningful interaction and communication with communities of color to increase diversity within our ranks.
In short, we are very much engaged in processes seeking solutions, increasing trust and reducing tensions.
(In Camden, N.J., one of America’s most violent cities, officers are being trained to exercise restraint in situations where they may have previously resorted to deadly force. Courtesy of the New York Times and YouTube. Posted on Apr 5, 2017.)
The Asbury Park Press should be entrusted to publish newsworthy articles that accurately depict what takes place around our State and inform our citizens.
With this extreme example of a biased invective it is now beyond our comprehension how it can be relied upon as an objective source for information.
In short, we feel that this cartoon is nothing short of yellow journalism and it should be removed from their website immediately and an apology issued to both law enforcement and our communities of color.
Chief Richard Buzby, President
N.J. State Association Chiefs of Police
Mr. Richard Smith
President, NAACP NJ State Conference
Member – NAACP National Board of Directors
|Jiles H. Ship, President
Northern N.J. Chapter
National Organization of Black L.E. Executives
Bishop Jethro James Jr.
Paradise Baptist Church, Newark N.J.
Chief Gerry McAleer, President
County Chiefs of Detectives Association
(2018 New Jersey Law Enforcement Memorial Service. Courtesy of NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police and YouTube. Posted on Feb 8, 2018.)