Following the murders of five policemen at a protest against police violence in Dallas last night, two of New Jersey’s top lawmakers expressed solidarity with officers in that city. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) issued statements Friday morning condemning the attack, in which four gunmen opened fire on police.
“This is an attack on civilization and the rule of law,” Bramnick said. “Our prayers go out to the families of the officers and the people of Dallas.”
Prieto said the Dallas shooting and the killings of two black men by police earlier this week demonstrate the need for further reforms like a bill from Assembly Budget chairman Gary Schaer (D-36) that would require municipal, county and campus police to adopt a cultural sensitivity training courses.
“We cannot stand for any senseless loss of life,” Prieto said. “African-Americans need to know a traffic stop won’t lead to death, and police officers need to know they will be respected. As we mourn for the lives lost, we recognize that we must do better.
“The New Jersey General Assembly has worked hard on justice reform, cultural diversity training for police and gun safety, but this is clearly an ongoing discussion. We will continue our efforts and redouble them where needed as we consider initiatives moving forward, while remembering the better world we all want can be achieved only through compassion and understanding, not hate and violence.”
Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed that legislation in June, calling for changes that would make the training more standardized less costly for the state. Christie recommended that the state Department of Law and Public Safety develop a single online training course.