New Jersey cops reported a fellow officer for racially profiling drivers — then they got suspended: lawsuit
Police Dreamstime/TNS

According to, two police officers in Westfield, New Jersey are alleging in a lawsuit that they were suspended in retaliation for reporting another officer for racially profiling drivers.

"Sgt. Preston Freeman, 49, and Lt. Nicole Stivale, 42, had accused Officer Christopher Forcenito of “racially influenced profiling” after two motor vehicle stops that occurred during the overnight shift on Jan. 29, 2021, according to a lawsuit filed last month in Superior Court of Union County," reported Anthony G. Attrino. "The lawsuit, first reported by TAPinto Westfield, states Forcenito pulled over a young Black man driving on East Broad Street shortly after midnight for speeding and failure to keep right. He issued the man a summons for driving with an expired license, the suit states. About 1:30 a.m. the same morning, Forcenito stopped a white man driving 65 mph in a 25 mph zone and let him go with just a verbal warning, states the suit."

According to the suit, Forcenito told the other two officers that he had treated the white man differently because he was "a nice guy" — and that when his supervisor asked for a report explaining why he let off a man driving 40 mph over the speed limit, he refused to do so.

"Stivale and Freeman then filed two supervisory complaints against Forcenito for insubordination and racially influenced profiling, the suit states," continued the report. "Less than two weeks later, on Feb. 12, 2021, Stivale was notified that she was the target of an internal affairs investigation in the Forcenito matter, the suit states. Within a year, Freeman and Stivale were each charged with 10 violations of departmental rules, regulations and policies. Both were suspended from their jobs without pay for 45 days, the suit states."

According to the report, the town is defending its actions, with a spokeswoman saying, “The officers who filed the complaint are both currently facing internal disciplinary action as a result of an Internal Affairs investigation.”

This is not the first New Jersey police department implicated in a racial controversy this year. Last month, a report showed that the former GOP mayor of Clark Township was caught on tape using racial slurs to describe Black people in conversation with the police chief — and the department tried to pay off a whistleblower to cover it up.

READ MORE: Trump pardoned Paul Manafort — but Biden’s DOJ just sued him for $3 million: report