JERSEY CITY, NJ — In light of troubling riots across the US sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minnesota policeman pressed his knee on his neck while handcuffed, Jersey City Council President, Joyce E. Watterman, is calling for a resolution to form an ad-hoc committee to review police’s policy and procedures on both enforcement and discrimination in Jersey City.
The resolution will be presented before the City Council at its virtual meeting on June 10.
Anyone interested in being part of the committee can submit their resume by emailing to a councilperson by June 19, 2020. Current members of the council are: Joyce Watterman, Roland R. Lavarro, Jr., Daniel Rivera, Denise Ridley, Mira Prinz-Arey, Richard Boaggiano, Yousef Saleh, James Solomon, and Jermaine Robinson. For information call the the Council office a 201-547-5134.
“Due to the situation at hand, both the violence that occurred and the protests that have emerged from it, I believed this would be a good opportunity for us to examine how our police department handles various situation and make changes where needed,” Watterman said. “This is a time for Jersey City to examine its police procedures and have open dialogue with the community to bring reform.”
Watterman, an ordained minister, became the first African American woman council president on January 2020 in the city’s more than 300-year history. Should her resolution pass the Council, the ad hoc committee will be composed of cross-section of the community, between 9-12 members with representation for all six municipal wards, clergy, educators, a retired police officer or a judge, and at least three sitting city council members.
“Here in Jersey City we want to be moving forward together in solidarity – not with more violence, but rather by creating robust and promising partnerships for a change that is sustainable now and for future generations to come,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in support of reexamining the JCPD’s training and operational procedures to be able to implement positive changes as identified by the committee.