Attorney General’s Office Investigating Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Wayne, N.J.

TRENTON – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation of a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred yesterday, April 26, in Wayne, N.J. One male civilian sustained fatal injuries.

The decedent has been identified as Bradley G. Pullman, 48, of Beacon, N.Y.

The investigation is being conducted by the Integrity Bureau within the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and

the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Bureau.

According to the preliminary investigation, at approximately 4:38 p.m., a marked police vehicle of the Mountain Lakes Police Department attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of a Lexus sedan that performed an illegal U-turn. The car did not stop and a pursuit ensued through multiple municipalities. The Fairfield Police Department and Wayne Police Department assisted in the pursuit, which ended in Wayne at the interchange of U.S. Route 46, Route 23 and Interstate 80, when multiple police officers fired at the suspect, fatally wounding him. A .380-caliber pistol was recovered from Pullman’s vehicle. Pullman was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Attorney General’s Office Investigating Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Paterson

PATERSON, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation of a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred shortly after 1 a.m. this morning on 16th Avenue in Paterson, N.J. One male civilian sustained fatal injuries.

The investigation is being conducted by the Integrity Bureau within the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Bureau.

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Attorney General’s Office Investigating Death of Man Following Arrest Today in Totowa, N.J.

TOTOWA, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of a 51-year-old man, who died earlier today after he was arrested by a New Jersey state trooper during a motor vehicle stop outside the State Police Totowa Substation. The man was placed under arrest after the state trooper discovered suspected narcotics in his vehicle.

The man suffered an undetermined medical emergency shortly after being arrested at approximately 11:30 a.m., and being placed in the back of a police vehicle. The trooper, as well as other responding troopers and paramedics, administered medical aid and the man was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:05 p.m. The identity of the decedent is not being released at this time.

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AG Grewal Outlines Process for Revising New Jersey’s Use of Force PolicyInitiative to Include Statewide Listening Sessions, Online Public Comment Website

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today outlined plans for revising New Jersey’s “Use of Force Policy,” which governs when the state’s 36,000 law enforcement officers may—and may not—use force against civilians. As part of that process, Attorney General Grewal announced that his office has launched an online portal for public comments and will be organizing community listening sessions in all 21 counties.

On June 2, 2020, Attorney General Grewal first announced his intention to revise the Use of Force Policy, the first update in two decades. The initiative is part of the Attorney General’s Excellence in Policing initiative, a sweeping set of policing reforms launched in December 2019 to promote the culture of professionalism, accountability, and transparency that is the hallmark of New Jersey’s best law enforcement agencies.

“The Use of Force Policy affects everyone, and so everyone should have the opportunity to weigh in on its revisions,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We want to hear from a broad cross-section of our state: police officers, civil rights advocates, religious leaders, victims’ rights organizations, and community members. We especially want to hear from those that have had negative experiences with law enforcement officers because we are committed to getting this right. By engaging residents across New Jersey, we will ensure that the updated policy reflects New Jersey’s values.”

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AG Grewal, Division of Consumer Affairs Warn of False Claims, Scams in the Sale and Administration of COVID-19 and COVID-19 Antibody Tests

NEWARK – As testing for COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies continue to become more widely available, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today warned consumers to beware of false or misleading claims in the sale or administration of COVID-19 tests and COVID-19 antibody tests, and other deceptive practices related to testing.

“As public access to COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibody testing increases, so do opportunities for unscrupulous individuals to make money by exploiting people’s confusion and fears,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We’re urging consumers to do their homework, understand the types of tests being marketed, and recognize what those tests can and cannot do, so they don’t fall victim to false promises and outright scams.”

Last week the Division sent cease-and-desist letters to a Morris County health club and a Passaic County dentist warning them against making false or misleading claims in the sale of antibody, or “serological,” tests for COVID-19. These investigations and other similar investigations remain ongoing, so the Division is not releasing the names of the letters’ recipients at this time.

Antibody testing differs from diagnostic testing in that antibody testing is intended to determine if you possess antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, which indicates past exposure to the virus. Diagnostic testing is intended to determine if you currently have the diseas

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AG Grewal: Division of Consumer Affairs Gives “A Hero’s Welcome to New Jersey” for Military Spouses and Veterans Seeking Professional Licenses

NEWARK – As the nation celebrates Military Appreciation Month, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced the launch of new program aimed at providing smooth transitions for military families and veterans relocating to New Jersey.

The program, “A Hero’s Welcome to New Jersey.” helps military spouses who hold professional licenses in other States become licensed in New Jersey, so they can quickly find work in their chosen professions when relocating. The program also assists veterans obtain licensure for post-military careers in New Jersey.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the members of the military who heroically put their lives on the line to serve our country, and to their families, who are just as dedicated to that service. As military families, they’re frequently called on to uproot their lives and rebuild them in new, unfamiliar places,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Today New Jersey is expressing its gratitude to them by launching a program that will provide them with the assistance they need to quickly settle in as New Jersey residents and pursue their own careers here.”

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AG Grewal Announces Settlement with Santander in Multi-state Investigation of Allegedly Predatory Subprime Auto Lending Practices
New Jersey and NJ Residents Will Receive Over $3 Million, in Addition to Loan Forgiveness, and Company Will Change Allegedly Predatory Lending

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that Santander Consumer USA Inc. will pay the State of New Jersey approximately $589,142, provide New Jersey consumers $2.5 million in restitution, forgive the loans of more consumers, and modify its business practices as part of a settlement that resolves a multi-state investigation into Santander’s allegedly predatory auto lending practices.

Santander is one of the largest subprime auto lenders in the United States. Subprime auto lending targets higher-risk borrowers. The loans typically involve high interest rates and prolonged repayment plans, both of which increase the likelihood of borrower default. About 82 percent of Santander’s retail auto loans are considered subprime, and between 2013 and 2015, roughly half of Santander’s subprime auto loan borrowers defaulted.

New Jersey was part of the Executive Committee spearheading the investigation of allegations that Santander typically failed to require proof of income when considering loan applications; failed to conduct meaningful oversight of conduct by auto dealers, increasing the number of loans founded on false information; and often extended loans that were unaffordable over the life of the loan. Illinois served as the lead state, with California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington rounding out the Executive Committee.

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AG Grewal Announces Action to Reduce Risk of Fatal Overdoses During COVID-19 CrisisAdministrative Order from Division of Consumer Affairs Requires NJ Practitioners to Co-Prescribe Naloxone to Certain At-Risk Opioid Patients During COVID-19 Emergency

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (“NJ CARES”), and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that New Jersey physicians, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners who prescribe opioids for the management of chronic pain must also prescribe the opioid antidote naloxone to certain at-risk patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under an Administrative Order issued today, prescribers must co-prescribe naloxone to any patient continuously receiving opioids for chronic pain management if the patient has one or more prescriptions totaling 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) or more per day, or is concurrently taking an opioid and a benzodiazepine. These patients face heightened risk of a fatal overdose.

The Administrative Order aligns with a rule proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners on April 6, 2020. That proposed rule, published in the New Jersey Register on April 6, 2020, is open for public comment until June 5, 2020.

The Administrative Order also applies to prescribers licensed by the State Boards of Dentistry, Nursing and Optometrists. These Boards have approved proposed amendments to their rules that are substantively identical to the co-prescribing rule proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners but have not yet published the proposals in the New Jersey Register.

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AG Grewal Announces Action by Division of Consumer Affairs to Pave Pathway for Healthcare Providers to Resume Routine Care and Elective Procedures

NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) has issued policies to allow healthcare professionals to resume non-urgent care and elective procedures in outpatient settings, as the State loosens restrictions put in place early in the battle against COVID-19. The Division’s policies, contained in an Administrative Order issued yesterday, identify precautions and limitations to protect patients, practitioners, and office staff from the continued risks posed by COVID-19.

The Division’s action comes after Governor Phil Murphy on Friday issued Executive Order No. 145, which allows elective surgeries and invasive procedures, whether medical or dental, to resume effective Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 5:00 a.m. A previous Executive Order has prohibited all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults since March 27, 2020, in order to preserve personal protective equipment and protect the capacity of the State’s healthcare system.

The Division’s policies require practitioners to limit person-to-person contact in the office, facilitate social distancing in the office, adopt enhanced office cleaning and disinfection practices, establish rigorous protections for staff, and stay informed about new developments and guidance related to COVID-19. Additional safeguards apply to healthcare professionals providing care that involves direct contact with a patient’s face, eyes, or mouth, or present a high risk of aerosolization, including dentists, oral surgeons, pulmonologists, otolaryngologists and eye care professionals.

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AG Grewal and Division of Consumer Affairs Announce Health and Safety Standards for Reopening Hair Salons, Barbershops, Nail Salons, Electrology Offices and Massage Establishments

NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) has established health and safety standards at reopening hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage establishments, and other locations offering personal care services. The standards are meant to protect customers, as well as licensed professionals and staff, by reducing the continued risks posed by COVID-19.

The Division’s action comes after Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 154 allowing hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, massage establishments and electrology offices, as well as spas, tattoo parlors and tanning salons, to reopen to the public on June 22, 2020. These facilities have been closed to the public since March under Executive Order No. 107, which also closed other businesses, restricted travel, and required social distancing.

The Division’s order requires cosmetology, massage, and bodywork businesses overseen by its licensing boards to take certain steps to prepare for reopening to minimize person-to-person contact and to follow protocols for scheduling appointments, screening clients and staff prior to entry to the facility, use of personal protective equipment by clients and staff, adopting enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, and staying informed about new developments and guidance related to COVID-19.

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AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan Issue Weekly Round-Up on COVID-19 Enforcement Matters

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced enforcement highlights from the past week, including violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders.The Attorney General also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations.

“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”

“Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.“Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.”

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AG Grewal and Col. Callahan Issue Weekly Round-Up on COVID-19 Enforcement Matters

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced enforcement actions from the past week, including coughing and spitting assaults and noteworthy violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders. The Attorney General also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations.

“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”

“Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.”

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AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan Announce Charges Against 10 Additional Members of Caravan That Confronted and Shot New Jersey State Trooper

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan today announced arrests and charges involving 10 new defendants who allegedly were part of the hostile mob that confronted and shot a New Jersey State Trooper on the evening of Saturday, April 25, in Pittsgrove, N.J.

The following persons were arrested this morning by the New Jersey State Police, with the exception of Waters, who is being sought on an arrest warrant. All 10 were charged by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault (2nd degree) and rioting (3rd degree).

  1. Ashley Diaz-Acevedo, 22, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  2. Melissa Romero, 22, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  3. Noel Lazu, 20, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  4. Markese Rogers, 25, of Pittsgrove, N.J.
  5. Aisha McArthur, 25, of Vineland, N.J.
  6. Rovell L. McArthur Jr., 26, of Vineland, N.J.
  7. Jenislen Quiles, 19, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  8. Shakeem Waters, 31, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  9. Thomas Nieves III, 30, of Bridgeton, N.J.
  10. Chayana Diaz, 22, of Bridgeton, N.J.

It is alleged that these defendants were part of a five-car caravan that went to the Harding Woods mobile home park in Pittsgrove intending to attack and injure a resident there and damage her home. Members of the caravan – including additional defendants charged previously – were armed with at least two handguns, one knife, and one bottle, and at least three fired upon Detective Richard Hershey.

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AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan Announce Attempted Murder Charge Against Defendant Identified as Alleged Third Shooter in Ambush of State Trooper

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan today announced that a third man has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a New Jersey State Trooper on the evening of Saturday, April 25, in Pittsgrove, N.J.

Kareen “Kai” Warner Jr., 19, of Bridgeton, N.J. – who was arrested on April 26 and charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon in connection with the shooting – was charged today with being a third shooter who fired at Detective Richard Hershey. A new complaint was filed today charging Warner with attempted murder (1st degree), aggravated assault on a police officer (2nd degree), and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (2nd degree). A detention hearing was held this afternoon for Warner and he was ordered detained in the Salem County Jail pending trial.

Two other men alleged to have fired upon Detective Hershey were previously arrested and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, and weapons offenses:

  • Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings, 21, of Bridgeton, N.J., and
  • Tremaine M. Hadden, 27, of Bridgeton, N.J.
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    AG Grewal Announces Voting Fraud Charges Against
    Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-Elect
    Alex Mendez, and Two Other Men

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced voting fraud charges against Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-Elect Alex Mendez, and two other men in connection with the May 12, 2020 special election in the City of Paterson.

    All four men are charged with criminal conduct involving mail-in ballots during the election. The investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability (OPIA) began when the U.S. Postal Inspection Service alerted the Attorney General’s Office that hundreds of mail-in ballots were found in a mailbox in Paterson. Numerous additional ballots were found in a mailbox in nearby Haledon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all voting in May 12 elections in New Jersey was done by mail-in ballots.

    “Today’s charges send a clear message: if you try to tamper with an election in New Jersey, we will find you and we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process.”

    “The residents of New Jersey have a right to free and fair elections, and we will ensure that happens,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “Our office’s criminal investigations complement a number of other safeguards that New Jersey has implemented to ensure the integrity of our elections.”

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    Owner of School Bus Company Charged with Contract Fraud for Covering Up Use of Unqualified Drivers with Criminal Records to Transport Children

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced criminal charges against the owner of a Paterson-based school bus company, its manager, and the company itself for allegedly providing false information to school districts in connection with contracts in order to cover up the fact that the company hired unqualified drivers, failed to conduct mandatory drug testing and criminal background checks for drivers and aides, and operated unsafe buses, all in violation of contract terms and state requirements.

    The owner, Shelim Khalique, 51, of Wayne, N.J., the manager, Henry Rhodes, 56, of Paterson, N.J., and the company, A-1 Elegant Tours, Inc., d/b/a Eastern Star Transportation, LLC, (“A-1”), were each charged today by complaint-summons with the following offenses:

    • Conspiracy (2nd Degree),
    • False Representations for a Government Contract (2nd Degree),
    • Theft by Deception (2nd Degree), and
    • Tampering with Public Records or Information (3rd Degree).

    Khalique and Rhodes were also charged with Misconduct by a Corporate Official (2nd Degree).

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    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced criminal charges against the owner of a Paterson-based school bus company, its manager, and the company itself for allegedly providing false information to school districts in connection with contracts in order to cover up the fact that the company hired unqualified drivers, failed to conduct mandatory drug testing and criminal background checks for drivers and aides, and operated unsafe buses, all in violation of contract terms and state requirements.

    Attorney General’s Office Investigating Death of Man Following Arrest Today in Totowa, N.J.

    TOTOWA, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of a 51-year-old man, who died earlier today after he was arrested by a New Jersey state trooper during a motor vehicle stop outside the State Police Totowa Substation. The man was placed under arrest after the state trooper discovered suspected narcotics in his vehicle.

    The man suffered an undetermined medical emergency shortly after being arrested at approximately 11:30 a.m., and being placed in the back of a police vehicle. The trooper, as well as other responding troopers and paramedics, administered medical aid and the man was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:05 p.m. The identity of the decedent is not being released at this time.

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    AG Grewal Releases Guidance on Municipal Court Prosecutions of COVID-19 Related Offenses

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today released guidance addressing prosecutions of COVID-19 related offenses, which is designed to ensure that there is accuracy, uniformity and consistency by municipal prosecutors and in municipal courts throughout the state.

    “While the vast majority of New Jersey residents followed the Governor’s Executive Orders and helped us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, and continue to do so, some did not,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have a duty as law enforcement officers to bring violators to justice, and to do so in a way that ensures uniformity. We also have a responsibility to exercise discretion in the interests of justice, including to use diversion programs and community court if available. My guidance today advises municipal prosecutors on the best ways to achieve those important goals of uniformity and consistency, deterrence, and responsible discretion.”

    The guidance emphasizes that no municipal prosecutor may adopt a categorical policy or practice of refusing to enforce COVID-19 related charges, but provides a significant number of options for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in individual cases to achieve the interests of justice. The guidance notes that a categorical policy of refusing to enforce such charges would be inappropriate because each charge had already been reviewed and approved by a designated county prosecutor or assistant prosecutor—as the Attorney General previously required—and also that such a policy would lead to disparate administration of these laws.

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    AG Grewal: NJ Sues U.S. Department of Education to Block Repeal of “Gainful Employment” Rule’s Protections for Student Borrowers

    TRENTON – Acting to protect New Jersey students from ending up with unmanageable student loan debt and little earning potential, Attorney Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that New Jersey is joining a coalition of States suing the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) over its repeal of its Gainful Employment Rule.

    Adopted during the Obama Administration, the Gainful Employment Rule sought to promote accountability and transparency among for-profit colleges and other career-focused, non-degree programs. The rule denied federal funding to programs that leave students with poor earnings prospects and high amounts of debt, while requiring schools to provide consumers with key information about programs’ costs and their graduates’ earnings and debt.

    Filed today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the lawsuit challenges DOE’s July 2019 decision to repeal the Gainful Employment Rule. The repeal will take effect on July 1, 2020.

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    AG Grewal Leads Multi-State Lawsuit Against U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over Title IX Rule that Weakens Students’ Protections Against Sexual Violence and Harassment

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today led a multi-state coalition in suing to block a new Title IX regulation from the U.S. Department of Education that would significantly weaken federal protections for students from sexual violence and harassment in education.

    With an effective date of August 14, 2020, the new rules have K-12 schools, colleges, and universities scrambling to revise their long-standing sexual harassment policies for the coming academic year – all while dealing simultaneously with issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    If the new rules take effect, the federal government will no longer require schools to address some types of sexual violence and harassment that they previously were required to investigate. The new rules also will deter students from complaining to their schools about sexual violence and harassment, will make it more costly for schools to prevent and remedy such misconduct, and likely will mean that schools discipline a smaller percentage of students who engage in misconduct.

    A total of 17 states and the District of Columbia are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are co-leading the lawsuit with Attorney General Grewal.

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    AG Grewal Kicks Off Statewide Initiative with Listening Session on Use of Force Policy

    TRENTON – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and social distancing measures remain in effect, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal recently announced a series of virtual meetings that, despite the public health crisis, will provide an opportunity for continued community engagement with law enforcement.

    The tenth virtual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, at 12 p.m. The session will be an online forum to discuss New Jersey’s current Use of Force Policy and describe some of the revisions under consideration. The Attorney General will be joined by Jonathan Parham, who previously served as the Chief of the Linden Police Department and now serves as the Director of Countywide Police Policy, Planning, and Training at the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Jiles H. Ship, Commissioner, New Jersey Police Training Commission and President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), New Jersey Chapter and Quovella Spruill, Director of Public Safety, Franklin Township Police Department and Executive Vice President, NOBLE, New Jersey Chapter.

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    AG Grewal Issues Directive to Law Enforcement on Appropriate Use of COVID-19 Information from Public Health Officers

    TRENTON—Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today issued a directive to law enforcement officers across New Jersey to provide clear guidance on appropriate use of information from local public health officers about positive COVID-19 tests in order to safeguard the health of officers while also protecting the privacy of those who are ill.

    Over the last number of days, law enforcement agencies raised concerns with the Attorney General about the need for limited information regarding addresses where an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, to better ensure that officers can appropriately protect their health and safety when responding to calls at those addresses. To address these concerns, the Attorney General’s office immediately engaged with the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH). In response, on March 18, 2020, DOH issued a memorandum to all local public health officers instructing them to share such limited information about addresses where an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 (but not the names of any individual), as authorized by the State’s Emergency Health Powers Act, but at the same time restricting the use and dissemination of that information.

    Our police officers are courageously stepping up to protect the public—faced with the coronavirus as well as the ever present dangers of their jobs—and they deserve all the help we can offer to keep them healthy,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By alerting officers as to these risks, we enable them to guard their own health and make the best possible use of our limited supplies of personal protective gear. Make no mistake, our officers will respond to every call for service, regardless of the threat, but this directive and the Department of Health’s memo will ensure that they are better prepared to keep everyone safe, and that they fully maintain the confidentiality of those who are ill.”

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    If You Threaten a Cop with COVID-19, You Will Face the Maximum Criminal Charges
    AG’s Office Brings Enhanced Criminal Charges Against Six Individuals Who Spat or Coughed at Officers and Threatened Them with COVID-19

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that the Attorney General’s Office has taken over prosecution of six cases and is filing upgraded charges against defendants who allegedly threatened police officers by spitting or coughing at them and claiming to have COVID-19.

    “Last week, I said the time for warnings is over and those violating the COVID-19 emergency orders will face strong law enforcement action,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Police all across New Jersey are making good on that vow by charging violators with crimes. Now, with the cases being announced today, we’re letting our dedicated officers know that we have their backs as they work tirelessly to maintain public safety and health at this difficult time.”

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    AG Grewal: COVID-19 Is No Excuse for Discrimination or Harassment
    Division on Civil Rights Issues COVID-19 Guidance on New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination and Family Leave Act

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights today issued new guidance addressing questions related to COVID-19 and the rights of New Jersey residents under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (FLA).

    “COVID-19 is no excuse for racism, xenophobia, or hate,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Discrimination and harassment in violation of New Jersey law remains illegal even if it occurs against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Now, more than ever, we should recognize that we’re all in this together. Words and actions that divide us won’t make any of us safer or stronger.”

    “We must not let ignorance or fear around COVID-19 lead to stereotyping and prejudice,” said DCR Director Rachel Wainer Apter. “COVID-19 does not discriminate based on race, national origin, religion, or disability. Yet there have been disturbing reports of discrimination and harassment targeting Asian people and people with actual or perceived disabilities, as well as other racial and religious discrimination arising from COVID-19. Today’s guidance addresses this kind of discrimination and harassment, and also explains when employees may be eligible to take job-protected leave in connection with the virus.”

    DCR is also offering guidance on COVID-19-related discrimination in places of public accommodation. The guidance explains that a school, for example, may be liable under the LAD for failing to investigate or take action in the face of reports that a student was being harassed based on race or national origin over COVID-19. Likewise, a public bus driver or bus company, for example, may be required to take reasonable action to stop harassment of one passenger by another.

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    AG Grewal Announces Voting Fraud Charges Against Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-Elect Alex Mendez, and Two Other Men

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced voting fraud charges against Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-Elect Alex Mendez, and two other men in connection with the May 12, 2020 special election in the City of Paterson.

    All four men are charged with criminal conduct involving mail-in ballots during the election. The investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability (OPIA) began when the U.S. Postal Inspection Service alerted the Attorney General’s Office that hundreds of mail-in ballots were found in a mailbox in Paterson. Numerous additional ballots were found in a mailbox in nearby Haledon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all voting in May 12 elections in New Jersey was done by mail-in ballots.

    “The residents of New Jersey have a right to free and fair elections, and we will ensure that happens,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “Our office’s criminal investigations complement a number of other safeguards that New Jersey has implemented to ensure the integrity of our elections.”

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    AG Grewal Announces Criminal Charges Against Additional Defendant in Major Corruption Investigation

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced charges against an attorney stemming from a major corruption probe by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) that previously led to five former public officials and political candidates in New Jersey being charged with taking bribes.

    Elizabeth Valandingham, 47, of Morristown, N.J., was served with complaint-summonses on Wednesday, June 17, charging her with second-degree false representation for government contracts and second-degree misconduct by a corporate official. Click here to view complaints.

    The charges against Valandingham relate to alleged conduct between 2012 and 2017 at the law firm where she worked.One of her duties at the law firm was to prepare and submit annual proposals to various municipalities in order for the firm to garner public contracts for legal services.

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    AG Grewal Announces Arrests of 16 Members & Associates of Violent Trenton-Based “Get Money Boys” Gang Linked to Four Shootings in Last 10 Months
    Charges Include Murder of 32-Year-Old Man, Attempted Murder of Police Officer

    TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced first-degree criminal charges against 16 alleged members and associates of the “Get Money Boys” or “GMB,” a violent street gang linked to multiple shootings, including the December 2019 murder of Michael Barnes, a 32-year-old Trenton man, and the February 2020 attempted murder of a police officer.

    Fifteen GMB members and associates, including its alleged leader, Charles Willis, 27, are charged with first-degree racketeering, and 10 GMB members, including Willis, are charged with either murder, attempted murder, or conspiracy to commit murder. As alleged in court documents, Willis and GMB engaged in violent criminal conduct in furtherance of their heroin and cocaine distribution activities in the area of the Oakland Street Apartments in Trenton.

    “Gang violence has taken the lives of too many young people in Trenton, and the Get Money Boys have been a major contributor to that violence,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue doing everything we can to make our capital city safe for its residents.”

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    AG Grewal and NJSACOP President Chief Christopher Leusner Featured in Debut Webcast of “Resilient Minds On The Front Lines”
    – Series of webcasts will promote mindfulness, wellness and resiliency for all workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic