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Taking a Knee to Public Safety

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As Governor Phil Murphy’s pick for top cop, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has become the perfect chameleon, changing his ideological stripes against whatever political backdrop he finds himself. Since taking office in 2018, Grewal has spent much of his first two years suing and publicly berating Donald Trump. His department directives have also seeded a radical police reform agenda amid claims that they were already on the drawing board long before the 2020 summer of unrest

That was a half-truth.

In 2018, Grewal released his Immigrant Trust Directive, a mandate that put a chokehold on cops enforcing federal immigration law. It instructed law enforcement to dishonor ICE immigration detainers for jailed illegals and prohibited participation in their street enforcement operations. It also prevented prosecutors from raising the issue of immigration status during trial proceedings or in requiring detention as a flight risk.

Then came George Floyd.

Floyd’s death was, if anything, an epiphanous event to Grewal, driving him to extremes to reimagine policing in a state where police reform was well underway, cities engaged in innovative police-community relations, and effective crime fighting and information-sharing collaborations were best practice across the more than 500 urban and suburban police departments. With very few exceptions promptly quelled by arrests, Floyd and BLM-sponsored protests were free from the burning and plundering seen in the neighboring states. Newark, the state’s largest city, had reduced shootings in 2020 by thirty percent and police hadn’t fired a single shot in all of that year, making it the shiny object in American policing. If Grewal truly believed that Jerseyans distrusted their police, he would have to rely on straw arguments and sow discontent within his own rank and file.

Grewal let loose a blitz of media interviews, tweets, and opinion pieces that were an exemplar of virtue signaling. His........

© American Thinker

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