ELIZABETH—New and old accusations of police misconduct and political indifference remain issues in the upcoming mayoral primary, in which Mayor J. Christian Bollwage faces a stiff challenge by Edward Bryant Koon, a senior officer at the county’s juvenile detention facility.
“There have been 67 murders in Elizabeth since 2004, but 34 remain unsolved because Chris Bollwage in our Mayor,” said an Inslee Street resident who feels the city is ignoring a surge in violent crime because it is isolated in minority neighborhoods.
There have been seven murders in the city so far this year alone.
Bollwage recently bashed the county prosecutor for failing to issue arrest warrants in several cases, but the lawman apparently feels city police have not met legal requirements to lock up innocent civilians.
New Jersey’s News 12 I-Team had revealed misconduct among Elizabeth police through an undercover videotape, on which officers appeared drinking and destroying property atop a city parking garage.
One police officer on the tape boasted to other cops that he shook down a local business for free beer.
Salaam Ismial, director of the United Youth Council in Elizabeth, says a new “culture of violence” in the city requires increased police presence to prevent another shooting in retaliation for the latest street gang assassination.
Bollwage has yet to acknowledge that there is a secret cult organization operating with the police department, known as ‘The Family,’ and he denies that the city has a problem with street gangs.
Meanwhile, city resident Robert Vidal accused a plainclothes police officer of using intimidation tactics and misconduct against him while Vidal was campaigning against Bollwage in the last mayoral primary election. Vidal claims that both Bollwage and Police Director James Cosgrove witnessed the entire incident from just feet away, but failed to take any action.
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