Two New Jersey Cops Refer to Mayor Ras Baraka as Gorilla

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08:  Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras Baraka speaks at the National Action Network (NAN) national convention on April 8, 2015 in New York City. Reverend Al Sharpton founded NAN in 1991; the convention hosted various politicians, organizers and religious leaders to talk about the nation's most pressing issues.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Two New Jersey Cops Refer to Mayor Ras Baraka as Gorilla

Officials are investigating the Facebook posts, which violate the police department's social media rules.

Published July 27, 2015

Two Newark police officers have a lot of explaining to do after an exchange on Facebook revealed some unsettling views.

Officials are currently investigating a conversation between an active-duty police lieutenant and a retired cop who referred to Newark’s African-American mayor Ras Baraka as an ape. A screenshot of the conversation was sent to police director Eugene Venable.

The conversation opens with a photo of a gorilla and the following exchange:

"Lmfao....How's your mayor?" 

"Exactly!!!!" replied the writer, whose identity is believed to be that of the lieutenant.

“What's particularly disturbing about this incident is that this police official has been on the job for many years and has some amount of influence over the rank and file in the department,” Venable said.

The officers have yet to be revealed as their individual roles in the exchange are still being verified. 

“It's unfortunate that this happened and we will not tolerate an atmosphere of bigotry and intolerance anywhere in this administration,” Baraka said. “I still believe we have the best police force in the State of New Jersey.”

This is not the first incident of its kind among the Newark police department. A strict social media policy has been enforced because of reckless commentary by officers in the past. 

“The general order was created as the result of several embarrassing instances of online activity by members of the department that were quite racy and somewhat, quite frankly, borderline discriminatory," Venable said. "Violations of the order could result in disciplinary actions, including dismissal."

The lieutenant believed to be involved in the incident is still on active duty as the incident is investigated. 

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(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Written by George Chapman Jr.


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