Jersey City Shootout

NJ School Board President to Seek Resignation of Member Who Called Jews ‘Brutes'

Board of Education member Joan Terrell Paige's comments came in the wake of the hate-motivated shootout at Jersey City's Jewish market

Jersey City Shootout
News 4

What to Know

  • A school board member made comments about the shooting at a kosher market which have led to calls for her resignation
  • The comments referred to Jews as "brutes" and questioned whether the shooters had a point to make in attacking Jews
  • The official was commenting on another person's comment about the Dec. 10 fatal attack that left a police officer and three civilians dead

The president of a New Jersey school board whose member questioned whether the shooters of a kosher supermarket had a point in attacking Jews said Wednesday he will seek to censure her and obtain her resignation.

Jersey City Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas said in an email that he will introduce a resolution at Thursday's meeting censuring Joan Terrell Paige over the online comment she made about the Dec. 10 fatal attack at the JC Kosher Supermarket. He will also request her resignation at the meeting, he said.

"I have come to this conclusion after a lot of review ... but importantly in the continuum of the strong sentiments expressed by the elected political leadership across Jersey City, Hudson County and the State of New Jersey," Thomas said.

The dreary, wet weather reflected the mood in Jersey City on Tuesday, as a fallen hero was laid to rest in a ceremony attended by thousands of police officers. Det. Joseph Seals was the first victim killed by the gunmen who sparked a shootout in the city. NBC New York’s Brian Thompson reports.

Paige commented on another person's post about the Dec. 10 fatal attack that left a police officer and three civilians at the JC Kosher Supermarket dead.

Paige's post said that members of the black community had been threatened and harassed to sell their homes by "brutes of the Jewish community." She went on to question whether the attackers, both whom were killed in a shootout with police, may have had had a message to send.

Authorities said the attack was motivated by anti-Semitic and anti-law enforcement attitudes.

Emails seeking a response were sent to Paige.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Steven Fulop have already said Paige should resign. Murphy tweeted hours after Fulop said that Paige's comments on the social media platform from the weekend "has no place in our schools."

It was a day of healing for people in and around Jersey City on Sunday as harrowing stories of survival were shared by survivors of Tuesday's shooting. Ken Buffa reports.

"We will not let anti-Semitism and hate go unchallenged in our communities," the governor said. "I urge her to immediately resign from the Jersey City Board of Education."

"There is no room for any kind of hate or bigotry in Jersey City," Thomas said.

In an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Democratic state Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, who represents Jersey City and lives in the area of the city where the attacks occurred, called the comments "clearly insensitive and inappropriate."

"There is a time and place for everything,"McKnight said in the statement. "I understand that there may be tensions between certain communities over property, but this is not the time for such conversations. Last week, lives were lost in a brutal attack in our community. During this time of grieving and laying people to rest, I ask that we allow families the respect to mourn."

The Anti-Defamation League also condemned Paige's comment.

The shooters, named by authorities as David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, had expressed interest in a black fringe group called the Black Hebrew Israelites.

The two shooters were armed with five weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun with a silencer. Investigators are still trying to figure out why the particular Kosher market was targeted. NBC New York’s Sarah Wallace reports.
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