Time We Might Still Get

Things are changing:

Emotions ran high Wednesday night as well over 100 protesters packed city council chambers to address some of the concerns surrounding the death of 46-year-old Barry Deloatch who was shot and killed by city police on Sept. 22 on Throop Avenue.

A letter presented to the council by Walter Hudson, of the Community Awareness Alliance, cited requests to the council to hold a public hearing to discuss police misconduct, pass a resolution condemning the actions of the New Brunswick Police Department, and send a letter to the family offering the council’s condolences for the shooting.

“At some point we have to sit down, at the round table, [and] come up [with] a plan of action to change the structure of the New Brunswick Police Department,” he said. “It’s either you’re going to work for us, or we’re going to work against you.”

City Council President Robert Recine agreed to draft a letter of apology to the Deloatch family. While members of the council agreed to the public meeting as per the requests of the protesters, an official vote approving the meeting was not taken.

If the city council does nothing, the protesters will continue to attend the city council meetings, Hudson said.

Many of the protesters felt the police officers involved should be arrested and charged with a crime.

“We have to do something,” said Henry Torres, a longtime city resident now residing in North Brunswick. “I don’t know what proposal we’re going to come up with, but I guarantee you one that we definitely need is some cops that are not going to be harassing us every day.”

The council responded to these claims by noting that state law dictates that all officers undergoing investigation must be placed under administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.

The case is currently under investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

One protester said he believes this poses a conflict of interest, stating that many of the police in the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office may have connections with the officers they are investigating.

So far: the only thing different from what’s happened before is that the council isn’t sneering.

[Protester Henry] Torres suggested that city Mayor James Cahill and those who were a part of his administration at the time of city murders resign and also assist the Deloatch family with the funeral expenses.

Cahill said at a meeting at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Oct. 4 that he would be open to discussing the city becoming involved with the funeral expenses.

The council would not respond on Cahill’s behalf, but Recine offered to contact him immediately.

Whoa.

Two things:

1. Murders? Plural? If that’s not a typo, and I think it is not, which other murder or murders are we talking about?

2. The mayor’s vague agreement that the city might accept responsibility for some funeral expenses is about as clear as it indicators get that Cahill thinks this murder is a murder.

This is not going to go away.

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