Ex-New Jersey police chief accused of hate crime, excessive force

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- A white police chief in New Jersey slammed a handcuffed young black man's head against a metal doorjamb and one of his officers recorded him making a series of racist comments, according to a federal indictment announced Wednesday.

Frank Nucera, who retired as Bordentown Township police chief while under FBI investigation in January, was charged with civil rights and hate crime charges.

According to court documents, Nucera approached the 18-year-old from behind and slammed his head into a doorjamb while the suspect was being escorted by two officers from a hotel in September 2016.

Nucera, who also served as a township administrator before retiring, was arrested Wednesday morning and is scheduled to appear in court later in the day. A phone listing for Nucera rang unanswered Wednesday.

Nucera had a history of making racist comments and used police dogs to intimidate African-Americans, including stationing them at high school basketball games to intimidate black fans, prosecutors said.

Bordentown is a predominantly white town of about 11,000 a few miles from New Jersey's majority African-American capital city of Trenton.

One of his police officers secretly recorded Nucera's comments over the course of a year because prosecutors said he was "increasingly alarmed by (Nucera's) racist remarks and hostility toward African Americans." Prosecutors said that some of them "contain extremely offensive racist comments" by Nucera.

In one of the recordings outlined by prosecutors, Nucera said of African Americans that he was "tired of them" and "it's getting to the point where I could shoot one."

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