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Prosecutors Take Over NJ City's Police Internal Investigations After Allegations Director Used Bigoted Words About Staff

What to Know

  • The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced it has assumed oversight of the Elizabeth Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit
  • The move comes after complaints were made alleging the police director used racial and sexist slurs toward staff
  • These reports allege that Cosgrove referred to African-Americans and female employees using both the “n”-word and “c”-word

County prosecutors are taking over a New Jersey city’s police department’s internal affairs unit following complaints that the police director allegedly used racist and sexist terms to address employees, including minority officers on the job.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday it has assumed oversight of the Elizabeth Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit.

According to reports, complaints have been filed against Director James Cosgrove as well as the police chief. These reports allege that Cosgrove referred to African-Americans and female employees at the police department using both the “n”-word and “c”-word.

In a letter dated April 16. Union County Acting Prosecutor Michael Monahan says that an investigation conducted by his office found that Cosgrove “used derogatory terms in the workplace when speaking about city employees.” The letter was addressed to Westfield lawyer, Joshua McMahon, who sparked the investigation when he contacted the prosecutor's office with the allegations stemming from February.

The prosecutor’s office will now review all disciplinary investigations at the police department.

In a statement released Wednesday, the prosecutor's office said: "The City of Elizabeth has been notified that the Prosecutor’s Office’s oversight will include comprehensive daily review of all disciplinary investigations and findings in order to ensure that the daily operations of the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit are functioning properly."

A rally is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon demanding Cosgrove’s firing and a federal review of the city’s police department.

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