Whitman Fires State Police over Remarks!

Whitman Fires State Police over Remarks!
Posted by FoM on February 28, 1999 at 18:44:42 PT

TRENTON, N.J. -- Gov. Christie Whitman fired the head of the New Jersey State Police on Sunday after he said in a newspaper interview that minority groups were more likely to be involved in drug trafficking. 
The Black Ministers Council of New Jersey and the state chapter of the NAACP had been calling for State Police Superintendent Col. Carl Williams' ouster for weeks, saying he was not acknowledging a history of racist procedures on the part of the State Police. Whitman said Sunday the state's law enforcement system must be carried out free of bias. She said Williams' comments ``are inconsistent with our efforts to enhance public confidence in the State Police.'' Her spokesman, Pete McDonough, said Williams' comments were the last straw in an already hostile situation between minorities and police officers. Williams has come under fire over allegations that the agency practices racial profiling, targeting minorities for traffic stops. In an interview with The Star-Ledger of Newark published Sunday, Williams said he did not condone racial profiling, but said it is naive to think race is not an issue in drug crimes. ``Two weeks ago, the president of the United States went to Mexico to talk to the president of Mexico about drugs. He didn't go to Ireland. He didn't go to England,'' Williams said. ``Today with this drug problem, the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that,'' said Williams. Williams, 58, has repeatedly said he has never condoned racial profiling. But he told the newspaper some generalizations can be made. ``If you're looking at the metamphetamine market, that seems to be controlled by the motorcycle gangs, which are basically predominantly white,'' he said. ``If you're looking at heroin and stuff like that, your involvement there is more or less Jamaicans.'' McDonough said Williams' comments were unacceptable. ``The comments were insensitive and absolutely counter to bolstering confidence in law enforcement,'' McDonough said. ``There are vast segments of the New Jersey public whose confidence in the system is shaken.'' Last week, The Associated Press reported that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division had been investigating the New Jersey State Police for two years. Williams was not immediately available for comment, and a state police spokesman, John Hagerty, did not return messages. S. MITRA KALITA, Associated Press WriterURL: 
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