What to Know
- Frank Nucera Jr., the former chief of police in Bordentown Township, allegedly slammed a cuffed suspect's head into a doorjamb last year
- The suspect was black, and Nucera has a purported history of making racist comments about black people, a fed complaint alleges
- He retired from the force in early 2017; prosecutors now say he did so after the state was informed Nucera was under investigation
A retired New Jersey police chief with a purported history of racist comments about black people allegedly assaulted a suspect last year while he was in custody, according to a federal criminal complaint disclosed Wednesday.
Frank Nucera Jr., the former chief of police in Bordentown Township, allegedly approached a cuffed and in-custody suspect from behind on Sept. 1 of last year and slammed his head into a doorjamb.
"The evidence set forth herein establishes probable cause that defendant Nucera's assault of Civilian 1 was motivated by an intense racial animus," the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey said in the complaint.
Prosecutors allege that Nucera frequently used racial epithets with other officers to describe black people, including one incident in which he allegedly said "these [n-words] are like ISIS, they have no value. They should like them all up and mow 'em down."
After the alleged Sept. 2016 incident, prosecutors say Nucera allegedly used a series of slurs in conversation with another officer to describe the suspect. He subsequently retired from the force in early 2017; prosecutors now say he did so after the state was informed Nucera was under investigation.
Nucera faces one count of committing a hate crime and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. His lawyer was not available to comment on the charges as of midday.