A Newark Star-Ledger editorial writer opposes Mayor Cory Booker’s nominee for police director, Garry McCarthy, the deputy commissioner and chief crime strategist for the New York City Police Department. Columnist Joan Whitlow recounts McCarthy’s court appearance this week for “creating a ruckus” after police at a highway rest stop gave his daughter a ticket for parking in a space for the disabled. The daughter had left the scene with her ticket. McCarthy and his wife arrived later and got into the altercation with the police. The McCarthys ended up in handcuffs. A judge said McCarthy was trying to “throw his weight around” and should be happy that he wasn’t charged with anything more serious.
Whitlow argues that “the top guy should be the kind of leader who, in the time it takes to drive from his starting point to the scene of a problem, is able to get himself under control. He should be the kind who can keep whatever situation he faces from getting worse.” Even if, as McCarthy said, the officers he confronted had belligerence caked on their badges, “the man needed to lead Newark’s police should have been able to handle them because he’s going to run into some just like them on the Newark force.” Whitlow admits that “Newark’s standards for police leadership have not been all that high,” but asks, “isn’t this supposed to be a new day?”