Ex-New Jersey trooper John Hogan has written a book detailing his role as scapegoat in the state’s controversial racial-profiling cases of the 1990s, reports The Trentonian. In “Turnpike Trooper,'' Hogan explains how he ended up paying a fine of $280 to escape serious charges filed against him and Trooper James Kenna after they shot up a van with four African American young men in l 1998. He argues that complaints from African-American leaders, including Al Sharpton and Johnnie Cochran, figured into the state decision to indict him and stop defending troopers against charges of stopping motorists based on race alone.
Hogan calls former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, Attorney General Peter Verniero and assorted other gubernatorial functionaries “dirty, dirty, dirty politicians'' for paying $12.9 million to settle with Cochran and the four young men in the van when the cops opened fire that night on the New Jersey Turnpike. The book also offers plenty of insights into the life of a young trooper like Hogan, now 36, who went from hometown hero and cop-of-the-year contender to an officer made jumpy by a harrowing experience on patrol. Hogan said no such thing as racial profiling was ever taught to him by the New Jersey State Police. But he admits “common-sense” profiling existed. He and other troopers sought to make high-profile drug arrests of “mules” transporting loads of narcotics south out of New York City. Hogan said they all knew minorities, not whites, would be more likely to do business in the supply centers of Harlem and the Bronx. So they looked for minority mules, Hogan admitted.