By Steve Neavling
A racist, former New Jersey police chief was found guilty Wednesday of lying to the FBI after he allegedly assaulted a handcuffed black teenager at a hotel and denied playing a role in the arrest.
The jury, however, remained deadlocked on federal civil rights and hate crime charges and were asked to continue deliberating.
Former Bordentown Township Police Chief Frank Nucera, 62, was the first law enforcement officer charged with a federal hate crime in at least a decade.
Nucera’s fellow officers secretly recorded him dozens of times using racial slurs. He said Donald Trump, who was a presidential candidate at the time, was the “last hope for white people.” He compared black people to ISIS and animals, said they should “stay the fuck out of Bordentown” because they had “no value,” and even suggested a firing squad should kill black people.
Nucera could be sentenced to up to five years when he is sentenced Feb. 6 for lying to the FBI.
The jury is still deliberating on two counts of hate-crime assault and deprivation of civil rights, The Trentonian reports. Each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
“We’re gonna wait and see what happens tomorrow,” defense attorney Rocco Cipparone Jr. said outside the courtroom. “Of the three counts, this is the lesser of three evils. That doesn’t mean I’m happy with it. But it is what it is and I have to accept it at this point.”
Fellow officers said Nucera slammed a handcuffed black teenager’s head into a door jam after he was falsely accused of swimming in a hotel pool without paying for a room.
Nucera insisted to FBI agents that he was not involved in the arrest.