Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an Independent Prosecutor Bill that states the attorney general to take over death investigations at the hand of law enforcement. Additionally, if charges are pressed, the trial must take place in a county outside of where the incident occurred. Archange Antoine, Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey, issued this statement:
“This is a tremendous victory for justice in the State of NJ, for the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have been the victims of police shootings or have died while in police custody. This is a victory for the 94% of Black Americans who voted for Gov. Murphy and had faith that he would do right by us, and it it’s a victory for those long silenced for their criticisms decrying maltreatment by some members of law enforcement, and for those of our predecessors in our many faith traditions who have labored for justice only to see the fruits of their labors denied.
“Three years ago we joined with several civic and faith partners at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Roselle, NJ to begin our fight for this historic piece of legislation. With hard work and determination, we pushed the Independent Prosecutor Bill through the State Senate and Assembly, only to see it die on Gov. Christie’s desk. But we resumed our fight and can now bear witness to the fruits of our labor.
“It took three long hard years of mobilizing our community– we refused to let up with the letter writing, phone calls, direct actions, social media posts, and meetings with our elected officials in order to convey the importance of this measure to Gov. Murphy, and simultaneously held him accountable for his promises.
“This bill is an important step toward restoring the trust and repairing the breach between law enforcement and the communities that they are sworn to protect and has been made. As faith leaders and truth seekers, we know this legislation is a positive step in the right direction for creating a just and fair New Jersey.”
Faith in New Jersey is a multi-faith and multi-racial network of faith leaders and faith communities working together to protect religious liberties and advance an immigration, racial, economic and human justice agenda at the local, state and federal level. Faith in New Jersey’s mission is to develop grassroots community leaders, analyze the policies that shape our communities, and mobilize faith voices and faith voters to effectively act on the prophetic call to build the Beloved Community.