So, what do you do when you’re a high profile New Jersey mayor known for
having a tough stance against illegal immigration and you get caught
hiring two illegal immigrants?
You blame the cops!
On Monday, October 8, 2007 members of the Bogota Police Department were
dispatched to a report of two Hispanic males in a house that was
supposed to be vacant. Officers responded and detained the two subjects
who were found in the garage.
One of the men was arrested for giving a false name. The officers
reportedly tried contacting the realty agency on the “for sale” sign to
locate the owner but had no luck.
They all went back to their headquarters where one of the men was
charged, presumably with “Hindering” for giving the false name.
These are the truncated facts as described by the Bogota Police
It was later learned that the two men were working for the Mayor of
Bogota, Steve Lonegan. You may remember Lonegan from his run for
governor. Steve Lonegan is also known for his hard line stance against
Once the details came out, the media quickly picked up the story. Mayor
Lonegan’s critics and political adversaries had a field day going after
him in the papers and in the blogs.
But now we get to the meat and potatoes.
Facing a growing crisis, Lonegan resorted to some absolutely repugnant
gutter tactics that some believe were designed to take the heat off of
him. Mayor Lonegan came out and publicly said that the police officers
who handled the call were engaging in racial profiling. He also declared
that the incident was in retaliation for contract issues between the
Bogota officers and the town.
Below are some quotes made by Lonegan after the incident:
October 14, 2007
"This is a racial profiling issue, because I won't give them lifetime
medical benefits, that's why," said Lonegan, referring to the police.
"They [the officers] had only one reason to go onto my property, and
that's because [the workers] were Hispanic," said Lonegan. "So they
actually picked these guys from private property."
October 16, 2007
"These two guys did not deserve to be put through this," he said. "These
guys got hurt by malicious cops. If the police had called me, I would
have come right down and straightened it all out."
October 15, 2007l
"I want to know why these guys were detained," Lonegan said. "These guys
had one problem, and that's that they were Hispanic-looking."
The job of mayor for any municipality is a position of trust and great
responsibility. Under this umbrella fall not only the town’s residents
but also those who work for the municipality. A claim by a mayor that
two police officers under his employ are engaging in racial profiling is
heard far and wide.
Such a claim should be reserved for the most serious of situations when
there is substantial evidence to prove such an accusation. Even then,
words should be measured as all – even police officers – are entitled to
a fair trial.
The crime of racial profiling falls under N.J.S.A. 2C:30-6, Official
Deprivation of Civil Rights, a crime that goes as high as second degree.
Of course, if this charge were lodged, a charge of 2C:30-2, Official
Misconduct, would almost certainly be attached. It too is a
Accusations of such heinous behavior should not be thrown around loosely
especially from a pulpit as powerful as that of a sitting mayor.
That a mayor can be so reckless with his words is despicable. That a
mayor can publicly besmirch the names of two policemen when the only
evidence is the fact that the two men were Hispanic is something we
expect from race baiters like Sharpton and Barron, not from elected
This is a new low even on the New Jersey scale.
Civility has all but disappeared from American politics, and that’s very
unfortunate. However, police officers didn’t sign up for that racket and
we shouldn’t sit silent when such takes place.
This mayor publicly accused these officers of criminal conduct
punishable by prison time. By now, the officers’ families, friends, and
citizens of the town have all heard the mayor’s claim as the story was
picked by several local and regional news outlets.
As we write this piece, new facts continue to emerge as to what
transpired that day. Lonegan’s story is crumbling, and hopefully, the
public sees through his shirade.
Bogota FOP Lodge 161 quickly came out and condemned the mayor’s comments
and is spearheading the defense of the officers. There were also reports
of both a captain and the chief of Bogota publicly defending the
officers involved. Cheers to all of you.
Hopefully, the State level FOP and PBA bosses and every other police
group will collect the facts of this case and store them in a file
reading “Open at Election Time.” Then, together we can all keep this
episode fresh in everyone’s mind.
Mayor Lonegan, its simple: you were wrong, and you owe these officers a
sincere apology. Try and walk away from this with at least some dignity.
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DO NOT WRITE IN ALL
It is also very obvious that the
Police Officers were on your property with no Probable Cause. For
no other reason than the men in question were Hispanic looking. Have
they given any other cause? The reputation and service of the
officers, is also not an issue. It they were wrong...they were
wrong, admit it and move on. The law is the law, no matter who is
being charged, we all have a right to due process. This is, so much,
beginning to be an argument of fools about which came first, the
chicken or the egg. Stand strong in your rights. All Americans
(Black, Latino, Indian, Mexican, Irish, German, Australian, Asian,
etc...) are in much need of education in these matters, and in the
importance of the law according to the United States Constitution.
We are all humans with the same inalienable rights and the same
responsibilities, they need to stop trying to divide us. Peacefully,
You people are such hypocrites. Why is
it that any police officer I have ever seen testify in court ALWAYS
lies, many times about absolutely heinous crimes they have
committed? However, you all act so holier than thou whenever it even
seems that somebody is being remotely evasive. I used to have
friends on the force, and they always used to love to come and watch
me play. I overheard them having a conversation one day about how
you all seem to think that this entire population is nothing more
than, "Police" and "Criminals". The current attitude of those
CIVILIANS who have been co-opted into such a visceral dogma of hate
and self loathing behind a (bleep) badge is certain to bring a
[trouble] if you do not wake up and realize the aims of the despotic
leaders you follow like a bunch of cowards. You must all begin to
bring back the public trust. Those who are into such segregation
will likely find no quarter. I have been recipient of many favors
for the respect I give and command in all actions. You would be very
wise to heed my words. Peace.
The officer's of the Bogota Police
Department are some of the best officer's I have ever had the
pleasure of working with. They are some of the most compassionate
and fairest individuals I have ever encountered.
I am appalled and disgusted by the
comments made against my brother officer's.
Work one shift with any of the
officer's of the Bogota police dept. and you'll see the caliber of
people your dealing with, some of the finest men and woman in the
law enforcement community.
I stand behind my brother's.
-A Bogota Police Officer
Ok, first off it sounds like these
guys did the right thing! They responded to a potentially dangerous
call and handled it in a great way. This mayor sounds like a back
stabbing (bleep) (much like all political figures) and I would
love to see him strap on a gun and wear a badge and do the job that
we all love to do everyday.
Its a sad day when the police do the
right thing and still get the short end of the stick! GREAT
JOB GUYS KEEP IT UP AND STAY SAFE!
-PO from the Jersey Shore
The mayor is a pompous ass! Unjustly
chastising the officer for doing their jobs. What a disgrace!
Maybe someone should check his immigration status too!!!
Bottom line - if you are in the US
illegally; you are violating the law. Doesn't matter if you are
white, Black, Asian or HISPANIC.
Get the Mayor out of Office, he
doesn't belong there.
Mayor Steve Lonegan is an absolute
Tool who does nothing but abuse his power as he runs his mouth and
Sounds like Lonegan and his cronies
that run Bogota need a visit from U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
First of all, if this mayor gets
reelected then the town is a joke. If those 2
cops were casing the place then the cops would be blamed for not
doing anything. I applaud my brother officers and remember you have
the support of this officer from the city in motion.
-PO from City in Motion
I think the residents of Bogota,
should know the real truth about the mayor they choose. Maybe
when he runs for re-election, this will remind them of how not to
Job well done Bogota PD....
Same circus, different clowns!
We have the same crap down here at
the jersey shore. Politics suck.
New to non residents, but usual
business as residents see it. Lonegan and his
cronies have lied and created many situations in this small town
that have made good honest volunteering residents leave for a more
stable environment. The politicians are very underhanded and
it gets ugly in Bogota. The people who don't already know,
The Mayor just can't see how good
Bogota has it and how bad he is making it for the residents. I
hope someday Bogota gets a Mayor and council that appreciates all of
its Police, Fire, EMS, Rescue, DPW, Town hall employees and
residents. As we speak now they do not!
Great job by those officers. I
hope they called ICE. So when the two illegals
are questioned. They can tell the feds how the mayor was the one
So whose the real criminal?
I'll give you a hint its not the cops.
NJ is ripe with corrupt public
The police struggle every day due to
lack of funds and resources and all these politicians can think of
is saving face. Its disgraceful and pathetic. Name the last NJ
mayor that died in the line of duty...yea that's what I thought.
Give respect where its due.
Good work boys...Take this crap for
what it is...a peace of sh*t politician who got caught doing what he
so called stands against.
This is typical and happening all over
the state where these mayors are acting like arses.
That mayor should lose his job.
Thank you for writing this article and
-A Bogota Police Officer
Sounds like this mayor has been caught
with his tail between his legs and has nowhere to go. It is a
disgrace for him to make the comments he made and a detrement to the
positions of the officers. How are they going to be looked upon by
An absolute disgrace of NJ Politics
NJ politicians continue to show they
have no backbone, no integrity, and no accountability for their own
Sounds like these Bogota Officers did
the right thing and did their job. This mayor needs to be ousted by
the people of Bogota.