In recent months, a three decade long Newark, New Jersey murder mystery involving five missing teens has been solved. With the infamous cold case finally at a close, many say the NPD detectives who solved the crime deserved a raise or promotion, for their life changing work. But, that was a far cry from what really happened. Instead, the head of the cold case unit, Sgt. Darnell Henry, and detectives Joseph Hadley and Kevin Lassiter, were all forced to head back to squad cars after being demoted. “There’s nothing in Henry, Hadley and Lassiter’s records to indicate they were candidates for what we called a demotion,” said Derrick Hatcher, President of the Newark Fraternal Order of Police. “They did however, buy tickets to a political fundraiser given by Clifford Minor, who just ran against Mayor Cory Booker and lost.”
Of course the drastic changes generated a buzz across the city, prompting one New Jersey reporter to dig for answers. That reporter contacted the office of Police Director Garry McCarthy, before getting response from McCarthy’s spokesperson, Detective Todd McClendon. “The director has the right to move police personnel around at his discretion and is not going to entertain the thought that there was some political motive involved in these transfers,” said McClendon. “You can be a detective today and a police officer tomorrow.
Rasheen Peppers knows that all too well. He’s the Newark detective responsible for catching the city’s top ten murderers. You may remember the veteran law enforcer being invited to a Lil Wayne concert, where he caught steam for having his licensed gun at the event. Rasheen Peppers was later demoted to patrol and cell block duty (and if you guessed detective Peppers voted for Clifford Minor, you’re right!)
Cory Booker’s campaign for Mayor of Newark centered around fighting crime, so why is Cory getting rid of the city’s best detectives? Some say it looks like political retribution.
“We need them. These guys are experienced and trained,” said Hatcher. “They developed a rapport with the community as well as respect within the department for the job they are doing. “Hatcher added that he can confirm those who knew were transferred all happened to be Minor supporters. “You’ve just broken major cases and you get transferred? That’s suspect,” said Cliff Minor.
It seems like the demoted detectives all happened to fall on the opposing team of Newark’s current mayor. Many would agree with the fact that because of that, they were penalized. So, it’s safe to say that Cory Booker is not really about fighting crime, because he’s more concerned with getting revenge.
Don’t you agree?