New Jersey Police Chief Exposed for Asking His Force to Profile Black People

The head of the Wyckoff Police Department in New Jersey was formally suspended amid major scandal last week over a controversial email. Chief Benjamin C. Fox is currently being investigated by the New Jersey Attorney General regarding an email he allegedly sent to his officers in 2014 in which he explicitly condones racial profiling.

“I think that most police officers are finding the national rhetoric about police abuse and racial profiling quite upsetting,” Chief Fox says in his email. Racial profiling, he argues, “has it’s [sic] place in law enforcement” which is why, Fox explains, “we check out suspicious black people in white neighborhoods.”

The ACLU’s New Jersy branch obtained Fox’s email from an anonymous source in March. They are now calling for him to resign over his “incredible impropriety.” The state Attorney General office says that the email “appears to be a clear violation” of policies prohibiting racial profiling.

Fox has shot back, insisting his stance has been mischaracterized and that he was not “endorsing racial profiling for the wrong reasons.” Somehow the gravity of the scandal does not seem to be making an impression on Fox.

Fox’s email represents more than a simple scandal. It should be viewed as a candid expression of deeply entrenched, highly toxic notions of race and the responsibilities of law enforcement that plague far too many police departments in the U.S.

In the 2014 email, Fox says his “major concern is that all of this misguided complaining about police officers will cause an officer to react slower to something you might perceive as a threat.”

That excerpt should be quite illuminating. Though police work has actually†been getting steadily safer, many officers have, demonstrably, clung to the shoot-first policy — exactly what Fox is describing here. Note his phrasing — “might perceive as a threat” — which, by his own definition, would include a black person in a white neighborhood.

This precisely the mentality that results in the deaths of innocent black individuals and children like Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. Maybe if the officers in those situations had chosen to “react slower” Brown, Garner, Rice and many others would be alive today.

Apologists continue to insist the seemingly endless examples of racially-motivated police abuse are the work of a few bad apples. Chief Benjamin C. Fox has been in law enforcement for 40 years. For more than a few of them, he led Wyckoff’s police force. When such a person openly tells his force to profile black people, it is clear this nation’s epidemic of overzealous cops isn’t unique to any department.

For the duration of the investigation, Fox will be on suspension — though why he will still be paid his full salary is as unclear as it is baffling. One might even say Fox has been paid to go on sabbatical for being overtly racist — showing just how seriously Wyckoff leadership seems to be taking this scandal. That’s genuine job security.

In the event the email is found to have been written by Fox (though he has not denied doing so at all), the ACLU says he should be fired. They also say the force should also be retrained and the state should “conduct audits for both racially biased policing and use of force.”

Wyckoff Police Department Chief Benjamin C. Fox has practically admitted to authoring the email and, despite the scandal, stands by his support of racial profiling. If you believe Fox should be formally removed as Wyckoff Police Department’s chief and should not receive pay while being investigated, please add your name to our petition!

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Photo Credit: YouTube

106 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

If most crime is being committed by black men or Hispanic women why look at other groups? Only makes sense to target those who are committing the crimes.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jane M.
Jane M1 years ago

THANKS FOR THIS INFO!!!!!!!

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Mark H.
Mark H1 years ago

Still, he should be paid until the matter is settled.

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Veronica Danie
.1 years ago

Thanks!

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suzie c.
suzie c1 years ago

Tfs

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Izorie Irvin
Izorie I1 years ago

It did take some time. Yeah within Time (Justice Has Prevailed). Thank U 4 sharing.

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john prini
john prini1 years ago

the guy is a MORON, How is a RACIST able to be PROMOTED thru the RANKS? SYSTEMIC RACISM, that's HOW. , ~,,.,,/>

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Elaine Bauer
Elaine Bauer1 years ago

When will our Uniformed Service people get it that their job is PROTECTION of the citizenry - all of the citizenry! They're counted upon to keep ALL of us safe. Their uniform is not a permit to express their bigotry.
And, Anne M - your bigotry is showing - again!

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