CJ Griffin Quoted in Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board on Stalled Police Accountability Bills


CJ Griffin, director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was quoted in in an Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board, “Trenton slow-walks police accountability.” The Opinion discusses a bill that has been stuck in the Legislature since last year permitting the creation of Civilian Complaint Review Boards (CCRBs), with authority to conduct their own investigation and subpoena power to compel testimony. The article notes for some the chief area of concern is the subpoena power and that it could be weaponized.

That’s a popular union talking point, said the police transparency expert, attorney C.J. Griffin, who points out that “City councils have subpoena power, and we haven’t had massive abuses of it. Other cities have full IA transparency and CCRBs with subpoena power, and this predicted parade of horribles has not happened. But accountability has.”

The Opinion further notes:

[Jack] Ciattarelli believes civilian complaints handled by Internal Affairs should be passed up to the police chief, who in consult with the mayor and town council determines whether to pass it along to the county prosecutor.

In Mayberry, maybe that works. In New Jersey, however, the assumption of honest IA investigations is rarely justified and seldom rewarded, and Griffin’s research found that justice cannot be found through standard IA complaints.

To view the Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board, click here.

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