LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

NJ Supreme Court will hear police union’s challenge to Newark civilian review board

BY Julie Daurio, Associate Producer |

Newark’s civilian complaint review board is facing another legal challenge.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Newark police union’s arguments against the review board, a panel tasked with investigating allegations of officer misconduct brought by residents.

The Newark Fraternal Order of Police has argued the board undermines the department’s own process for disciplining officers.

Last year, a judge sided with the union, limiting the board’s ability to investigate allegations and stripping it of subpoena power.

In June, an appellate court restored the CCRB’s investigatory powers, but said any findings of misconduct were nonbinding.

“The CCRB is moving forward as planned,” said Newark Corporation Counsel Kenyatta Stewart. “We look forward to the court deciding in our favor.”

The Fraternal Order of Police did not return a request for comment.

Newark established the review board by ordinance in 2016, the same year the city entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice in an effort to reverse a pattern of unconstitutional policing practices uncovered by a 2014 DOJ report.

Newark’s police department remains under federal oversight.