Local Beat: Local communities and officials reject, condemn DACA rollback

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

NEWARK SCHOOL, ELECTED OFFICIALS CONDEMN DACA ROLLBACK
City and school officials in Newark were quick to strongly condemn the Trump administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Elana Knopp of TAP into Newark says protests in support of DACA and the nearly 800,000 people under its protection sprang up across the Newark in the days following the announcement.

RUTGERS PRESIDENT CRITICIZES TRUMP’S MOVE TO END DACA
The president of Rutgers University, Robert Barchi, also came out against the decision to end DACA. Jack Murtha of TAP into New Brunswick says Barchi sent a letter to the university community detailing his support of DACA and condemning President Trump’s plan to revoke the protections for hundred of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants living in the United States, many of whom were brought here as small children.

MORRISTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY OUSTS WHISTLE-BLOWING DIRECTOR
The executive director of the Morristown Housing Authority has been removed from his position just a few years after he was hired in 2015. Roy Rogers, who initiated a federal investigation into his own agency at the beginning of his short tenure as executive director, was dismissed due to concerns about his spotty attendance and the day-to-day operations at the MHA, according to Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green.

ACTIVISTS CALL ON MAPLEWOOD LEADERS TO SEE INCIDENT AS OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE
Mary Mann of Village Green continues to follow the fallout from the release of Maplewood police video that shows officers punching and kicking a handcuffed teen in July 2016. Community activists recently presented a list of demands for improved community policing at the last Township Committee meeting. The list includes recommendations such as implementing extensive de-escalation training, introducing community oversight, and conducting a national search to find a new chief of police, among others.

DISGRACED MAPLEWOOD POLICE CAPTAIN WALK AWAY WITH $37,000 PAYOUT
Meanwhile, Maplewood Police Capt. Joshua Cummis recently announced his retirement and was awarded $37,218.27 in compensation, despite his role in the July 2016 police abuse incident mentioned above. Joe Strupp of TAP into SOMA says Cummis and Maplewood Police Chief Robert Cimino were both placed on administrative leave early last month, just days after police video footage of the incident was released to the public. The governing body has also asked Cummis to resign.

A CONVERSATION WITH CANDIDATE PHIL MURPHY
Jenn Hall of Edible Jersey recently sat down with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy to discuss his views on the environment, sustainability and health. But don’t worry, Hall says, she also got the scoop on his culinary favorites: “Please don’t hold this against me,” Murphy said. “I love liver.”

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