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Statements by Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin on Hate Crime in Jersey City

Trenton – Today, Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin released the following statements in response to the investigation following this week’s hate crime in Jersey City:


“It now appears from law enforcement that the events that terrorized Jersey City on Tuesday were fueled by hate. The murder of innocent civilians because of their religious beliefs, and the murder of a police officer for the simple reason that he was a police officer, must be the wakeup call to those who fail to see or acknowledge the rising tide of hate here in New Jersey, and around the nation,” said Governor Murphy. “This is our signal to come together as the broad New Jersey family we are and recommit to the elimination of hate in all its forms. This is also proof that the holes in our nation’s gun laws are failing our communities. We cannot wait until another domestic terrorist, filled with hate and bent on murder, gets their hands on a weapon, period. The time for Congress and our state to finish its job is now, and I commit to take every step possible to keep our residents safe. I commend Attorney General Grewal, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, Colonel Callahan, and all working on this investigation, for their hard work over the past 48 hours, and for the work still left to do.”


“We should all stand strong against the violent hatred that fueled the attacks in Jersey City that took the lives of a brave police officer and three civilians in a Kosher grocery store,” said Senate President Sweeney. “This was a senseless tragedy that we will not allow to create fear or division in communities where diversity is a source of strength.  Our unity as a state is one of the most potent forces we have to protect our shared values in the face of all forms of bias or acts of violence targeted at anyone because of race, religion or ethnicity. Detective Joseph Seals gave his life in heroic service to others. Moshe Deutsch, Leah Minda Ferencz and Miguel Douglas Rodriguez lost their lives as valued members of the community. Their families, friends and colleagues are suffering heartbreaking losses, but they should know that we share their grief and are unified in recognizing the value and meaning of the lives of their loved ones.”


“The tragedy this week in Jersey City that took the life of a police officer and three innocent civilians is yet another unspeakably senseless act of violence. We now know this was a hate crime. We cannot and we will not tolerate anti-Semitism, bigotry or hatred in New Jersey,” said Speaker Coughlin. “We must work together to make the safety of New Jersey’s 9 million residents our top priority. I urge members of our congressional delegation to work in bi-partisan fashion to enact fair, but strict gun laws to ensure extremists who despise others based on the religion they practice or the color of their skin do not have access to weapons to carry out their murderous acts.”