The New Jersey State Police continue to stop black motorists at “greatly disproportionate” rates on the southern portion of the New Jersey Turnpike despite seven years of reforms aimed at eradicating racial profiling, charges a study commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union and reported by the Newark Star-Ledger. The study found 30 percent of the drivers stopped late last year on that portion of the road were African-American, even though African-Americans comprised only 18 percent of speeding motorists, said ACLU legal director Edward Barocas. “Profiling continues unabated,” Barocas said. “African-Americans now make up a higher percentage of stops than they did before the consent decree began.”
Lt. Col. Tom Gilbert, chief of staff for Superintendent Rick Fuentes, said police have long known black motorists were being stopped in higher numbers between Interchanges 1 and 7A. He said they have seen no evidence it resulted from racial profiling. “We’ve been assured by the independent monitoring team that they have seen no indication of troopers performing unconstitutional actions or any sign of disparate treatment,” Gilbert said. David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, called the ACLU study “junk science” aimed at protecting the “cottage industry” of defense attorneys who sue the police.