A Timeline: Mayor Cahill’s Police Department, 2010-2011
March 1, 2010: Director Caputo Retires
New Brunswick Police Director Tony Caputo retires. He begins collecting a $115,020 pension and also receives a $376,234 payout for unused sick and vacation time.
March 5, 2010: Mangarella Assumes Top Job
Mayor Cahill elevates Peter Mangarella to fill the Director position.
June 8, 2010: Cahill wins Democratic Primary
James Cahill defeats primary challenger Patricia Bombelyn by a 3:2 margin to earn the Democratic nomination for a sixth term as Mayor of New Brunswick.
September 3, 2010: Police Lt. Charged w/ Voter Fraud
NBPD Lt. Robert Tierney surrenders at police headquarters and is charged with voting in several New Brunswick elections despite living outside of town. He was also charged with theft of healthcare benefits for continuing to list his ex-wife as eligible after they divorced. He was suspended with pay.
November 2, 2010: Cahill Wins Sixth Term
Cahill wins a record sixth term as Mayor of the Hub City. No one runs against him.
November 4, 2010: FBI Raids Target Cahill’s Re-Election Campaign
The FBI raids offices of the Middlesex County Clerk’s and Board of Elections offices in New Brunswick, investigating irregularities in the primary election between Cahill and Bombelyn. NBC 4 had the best coverage. (VIDEO)
December 10, 2010: NBPD Officers Break Into Apartment and Beat Up Innocent Rutgers Students
In a botched drug raid, Middlesex County authorities and New Brunswick police officers knock down the wrong door at 260 Somerset Street and proceed to brutally beat two innocent Rutgers students and trash their apartment.
December 17, 2010: Sgt. Defilippo Retires To Avoid Suspension
Sgt. Victor Defilippo retires when it is discovered he has been illegally paid to work “extra-duty” jobs for private companies while he was supposed to be working as a city police officer.
January 3, 2011: Cahill Begins Sixth Term
Cahill is sworn in (VIDEO) and begins a record sixth term as Mayor.
January 20, 2011: Police Promotions
Cahill promotes four police officials: Sgt. Steve Middleton becomes a Lt. Detectives Daniel Dominguez, Amish Shah, and William Oels II become Sgts. Cahill calls the NBPD “the finest law enforcement agency in the state of New Jersey and beyond.” (VIDEO)
January 23, 2011: Sgt. Defilippo Charged w/ Extra-Duty Moonlighting
Sgt. Victor Defilippo is charged with moonlighting, doing extra-duty work for companies like Johnson & Johnson while he was on the clock as a city police officer.
February 2, 2011: New Brunswick One of The Few Cities To Hire Cops in ’11
Cahill announces the hiring of 5 laid-off cops from Franklin Township, including his nephew Sean Cahill. The city says it obtained the funds from the federal government to hire these 5, plus 2 additional officers at a later date this year. This makes New Brunswick virtually the only urban municipality in NJ to expand its police force in 2011. Cities with far higher crime rates laid off dozens of police: Trenton laid off 111, Paterson 125, and Camden 167.
February 5, 2011: Police Caught on Camera Punching Arrested Rutgers Student in The Head
Responding to reports of a streetfight, police find 50 people in the street near the intersection of Sicard, Stone, and Prosper Streets, just blocks from the Rutgers Student Center. For some reason, they arrest Joseph Keepers, a Rutgers student from Edison.
As best we can tell, his friend Elliott Marx, a Rutgers student from Lindenhurst, NY, jumps on the back of one of the arresting officers not knowing it’s an officer. For his part, Marx told the Star-Ledger, “I didn’t even know it was police. I had no idea they were police until they said stop resisting.”
However, someone filming Marx’s arrest from an upstairs window captures four police officers holding the 20-year-old student face-down in the street as another officer punches him in the head four times after he had already been subdued and arrested.
February 9, 2011: Democratic Party Officials Call For Civilian Review Board
Two elected Democrats for Change representatives released a statement condemning the use of force against Marx and calling for a civilian review board to deal with complaints against officers.
February 10, 2011: Innocent Brutality Victims Come Forward, File $4M Lawsuit
ABC 7 breaks the story (VIDEO) that 2 additional Rutgers students have filed a lawsuit against the NBPD. They claim officers barged into their Somerset St. apartment in December and attacked them while they were sleeping. Turns out they knocked down the wrong door.
The suit alleges plainclothes NBPD officers failed to identify themselves before cursing at, punching, and kicking the college sophomores. The students also said police trashed their apartment and made them wait next to the door police broke down for hours in their underwear on an 11-degree night.
February 16, 2011: City Council Faced With Brutality Issue
Members of the New Brunswick City Council were faced with 3 elected Democratic Committepeople coming forward with concerns related to police brutality and disrespectful behavior by the NBPD at their regular meeting.
MUST-SEE VIDEO: Council Meeting Highlights
JT Kostman, a former police officer and father of Jake Kostman, one of two innocent Rutgers students who was brutally beaten by police officers executing a raid on the wrong apartment, also spoke before the Council. Kostman questioned why the Internal Affairs investigation into the incident had taken so long. No one could give him a straight answer. Council President Recine said he had not heard of the incident until the lawsuit was filed.
In the video above, The Daily Targum’s Joseph Schulhoff interviewed JT Kostman after the meeting. Kostman further elaborated on the irregularities of this particular Internal Affairs investigation.
March 21, 2011: Sgt. Rowe Suspended
Sgt. Richard Rowe is suspended without pay when it is discovered that internal affairs files he was assigned years earlier had gone missing.
April 15, 2011: Rutgersfest Descends into Chaos
Following an annual concert at Rutgers University’s Busch Campus (VIDEO), tens of thousands of visitors descend on New Brunswick and chaos erupts in the streets. A woefully unprepared NBPD fails to keep order, at least four people are shot, and police do not apprehend any of the shooters (VIDEO). Additionally, a 17-year-old was hospitalized after being hit in the head with a liquor bottle.
Police audio transmissions reveal most of the calls the department received could not be handled because their patrol cars were stuck in traffic. It is worthy to note that no officers were on foot patrol and not a single city street was closed. Numerous fights videos from that night went viral including this one.
April 16, 2011: NBPD Blames Rutgers For Shootings
Police Director Peter Mangarella calls out Rutgers for holding the festival, saying that “The city’s concerns are falling on deaf ears.” However, a Rutgers spokesperson said the University had paid for extra NBPD officers to be on duty that night and assigned additional RUPD officers as well.
April 19, 2011: Rutgers Agrees to Cancel Spring Festival
Rutgers President Richard McCormick announces Rutgersfest will be cancelled. The Home News Tribune criticizes his decision in an editorial, arguing that the school’s football program wouldn’t be cancelled if similar violence ensued after a home game.
April 21, 2011: Lt. Tierney Indicted for Voter Fraud
NBPD Lt. Robert Tierney is indicted for illegally voting in New Brunswick elections and for theft of health benefits. By law, it is required that the city stop paying him while he is suspended.
June 5, 2011: Retired Police Director to Lead Crimestoppers Program
It is announced that retired NBPD Director Anthony Caputo will head a new Middlesex County Crimestoppers program.
June 16, 2011: Caputo Gets His Old Job Back
Cahill announces that Police Director Mangarella is retiring after just fifteen months in the top job, at the old age of 48. His replacement will be Anthony Caputo, the prior director. Caputo now gets to collect a salary and a pension for the same job at the same time, making for a total income of $225,020 per year.
July 2, 2011: Ledger Questions Cahill’s Justification for Re-Hiring Dir. Caputo
The Star-Ledger Editorial Board criticizes Cahill’s re-hiring of Caputo in a scathing editorial: “Taxpayers… resent well-connected people who use public jobs as their ATM — and mayors who hire and rehire cronies.”
August 4, 2011: Sgt. Rowe Retires While Under Investigation
Sgt. Richard Rowe retires and puts in for his pension, all while under investigation for tampering with dozens of Internal Affairs files.
August 16, 2011: Mangarella Gets To Double-Dip Too
New Brunswick’s mayorally-appointed Board of Education votes to hire a new Director of Security: former Police Director Peter Mangarella. Mangarella will continue to collect a $116,405 pension on top of the new $90,000 salary. His “retirement” will last just 2.5 months, as his new job starts September 15.
September 7, 2011: City Council Increases Charge For Extra-Duty Police Work
The City Council votes to amend the law governing extra-duty work for police, increasing both the charge that goes to the officers and the charge that goes to the city.
September 22, 2011: Officers Shoot and Kill Unarmed Man in Backyard
Just over an hour after the controversial execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, Barry Deloatch, a 47-year-old city resident was shot dead by New Brunswick Police in the backyard of 105 Throop Avenue at 12:12am. Witnesses said Deloatch was in a group of three men and that he fled when two officers exited their patrol car with guns drawn.
Deloatch was declared dead on arrival at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at 12:37am. The two officers involved, who had 2.5 and 6 years on the force, were not immediately identified by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which is handling the investigation. The officers were place on administrative leave, with pay, pending the results of the investigation. Later that day, angry residents had gathered outside City Hall demanding answers.
That night, ABC 7 became the first TV station to broadcast police radio transmissions from the shooting (AUDIO), which indicate a foot pursuit began around 12:12am Thursday morning and ended with shooting death of Deloatch. After the “Shots fired” announcement, one of the officers says: “Suspect was attempting to hit us with a… a wooden stick.”
Also important to note is the fact that the officers did not call in their stop or give any reason why they left their vehicle in the first place. The first communication with dispatchers indicated a “foot pursuit” of Mr. Deloatch at Throop Ave. and Seaman St.
September 23, 2011: Community Outraged at Killing of Barry Deloatch
Community outrage ensued as protesters gathered outside City Hall throughout the day. Neither the City Police Director, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office, nor any elected officials made public statements. NJ.com released another powerful video of the community’s response.
ABC 7 reported that Deloatch was 5’4″ tall and just over 100 pounds (VIDEO), hardly a physical threat to the two officers, with or without a “wooden stick.”
September 24, 2011: NBPD Arrest Someone At Protest
During a third day of anti-police-brutality protests, police arrest a man and charge him with punching a bus driver in the face at 10:40am. Demonstrators do not recall the incident and do not know the man charged, Michael White, age 50. He may or may not have been one of the demonstrators. His arrest was first reported almost a week later by the Star-Ledger.
September 27, 2011: Feds Send More Money To Hire More Cops in New Brunswick
The Federal government approves a $20.8M grant to “re-hire” 78 laid-off police officers throughout the state. The NJCOPS grant includes nearly $1.7M to hire an additional 7 officers to the New Brunswick force.
September 28, 2011: Community Meeting Hosted by Ebenezer Baptist Church
The NAACP and several other national and local organizations came together to host a community meeting at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church (VIDEO) where family members, clergy, the community, and leaders of organizations including the NAACP, ACLU, and National United Youth Council spoke to the community. Leaders announced that New Brunswick would be at the center of the upcoming National Day of Outrage against Police Brutality taking place on October 22.
September 29, 2011: Demonstrator Arrested, Held on $50K bail
As demonstrators marched for the eighth consecutive day, an altercation between a motorist and a demonstrator ended with the demonstrator, Andre Showell, being arrested. The motorist was a dispatcher at Robert Wood Johnson Univ. Hospital who was running late to work due to the protest. Showell’s bail was set unusually high, $50,000, and he was charged with aggravated assault on medical personnel and failure to disperse.
Eyewitnesses say Showell was hit multiple times by the dispatcher’s vehicle before he threw an open water bottle at the man’s car, and banged his fists on the car’s trunk as the car passed. Demonstrators insist the allegation that he hit the dispatcher in the face with the water bottle is no more than a “trumped up” charge. Showell, a 47-year-old North Brunswick resident remains in jail, despite pleas from the community to release him or lower the bail.
September 30, 2011: NBPD Bust Out Riot Gear, Arrest Protest Leader And Innocent Bystander
In an intimidating show of force, two dozen or more New Brunswick Police unexpectedly emerge from several vans in protective riot gear and storm the scene of a peaceful protest across the street from where Barry Deloatch was killed. The cops immediately arrest Tormel Pittman, who was leading the demonstration from a city sidewalk. Shortly thereafter, police arrest Gabriella Aron, a 19-year-old Rutgers student on a bicycle who refused to move onto the sidewalk. She was part of group of bicyclists who stumbled upon the protest.
Both were charged with obstructing highways or other public passages, presumably for their participation in a peaceful march earlier that afternoon. Aron was released on $150 bail, while Pittman was held on $1,500 bail and transferred to the County Jail before being released later that evening. Videos of the overwhelming show of force to arbitrarily arrest innocent people went viral, receiving tens of thousands of views over the weekend.
Aron wrote a Letter to the Editor to New Brunswick Patch describing her arrest.
October 3, 2011: Deloatch Family Files Notice of Potential Lawsuit
Deloatch’s two sons, file a notice of tort claim in Middlesex County Superior Court, the first step towards a lawsuit against the city and its police department. The notice also formally names the two officers for the first time: Brad Berdel and Daniel Mazan, a former Rutgers University football player. Berdel was identified as the shooter by a spokesman for the family.
October 4, 2011: Cahill’s Community Forum Blows Up In His Face
Twelve days after Barry Deloatch was shot and killed by the NBPD, Mayor Cahill faces the public for the first time (VIDEO). He is flanked by seven African-American ministers and reads prepared remarks at the Ebenezer Baptist Church before taking questions. When he announces that he will soon have to wrap it up after only a few questions, most of those in attendance walked out in protest.
October 5, 2011: Emotions Run High At Packed City Council Meeting
Bombarded by family members and an angry community, the New Brunswick City Council was even more flustered and defensive than the Mayor a day earlier. Under pressure from civil rights activists, the Council reluctantly agreed to support public hearings on police misconduct.
At one point, Councilman Jimmie Cook, the only African-American Councilman, got up from his chair and raised his voice as he directly addressed Jason Taylor, Deloatch’s cousin. Taylor began saying that he was “hurt” because Cook was unresponsive to telephone calls from him the night of the shooting. Cook stood up and first pledged his support for the cause, before approaching Taylor and, after some heated back and forth, exclaiming: “I’m ashamed of you!” Some of the more dramatic moments from the meeting (VIDEO) were captured and posted on MyCentralJersey.com.
Later in the meeting, Business Administrator Tom Loughlin contradicted the Mayor’s statement from the night before that there is a one-year residency requirement for new hires in the police department. Loughlin said that police only have to live in the city during the duration of their application process.
October 8. 2011: Barry Deloatch Funeral Services
Barry Deloatch is laid to rest following a ceremony at the Sharon Baptist Church in New Brunswick.
October 9, 2011: Use of Force Reports & IA Complaints Analyzed
New Brunswick Patch analyzed the use of force reports filed by the two officers involved in the Deloatch shooting, as well as the nine Internal Affairs complaints filed against them.
October 11, 2011: County Prosecutor Charges Retired Sgt. Rowe with Tampering, Obstruction
Sgt. Richard Rowe, one-time public information officer for the police department, is formally accused of mishandling 81 separate investigations into his fellow officers. Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan charges Rowe with obstruction of the administration of the law and tampering with public records.
For Rowe’s part, his attorney Lawrence Bitterman admitted his client was sloppy with the Internal Affairs files, but insists there was never an attempt to protect any officers. Mayor Cahill released a statement saying he is “appalled” at the alleged actions of Rowe and scheduled a press conference for 1pm today at NBPD Headquarters, 25 Kirkpatrick St.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.