Just when we thought that he was done shocking us, he strikes again. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is no longer satisfied with making his state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants and demanding that New Jersey law enforcement agencies stand down when dealing with ICE and CBP.
Now, he his mandating that cops in the Garden state refer to people by the pronoun the demand, the gender on their driver’s license be damned.
Grewal, in a 14-page edict, issued Law Enforcement Directive 2019-3, which applies to all state, county and local law enforcement agencies. Apparently, a study was the driving factor behind the matter.
The study was commissioned by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
They claim that respondents reported frequent contact with the law enforcement and criminal justice systems, as well as high rates of mistreatment by police, physical and sexual abuse in jails and prisons, and denial of medical treatment while incarcerated.
The study also says that experiences with law enforcement varied by demographic groups, with transgender people of color, those who have experienced homelessness, people with disabilities, and low-income transgender people reporting higher rates of discomfort with and mistreatment by police and other law enforcement officers.
Results also indicated substantial levels of mistreatment and abuse in jail, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. Additionally, the experiences of respondents who were placed in immigration detention included harmful conditions and mistreatment, such as lengthy periods of solitary confinement and physical and sexual assault by detention staff and other detainees.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this directive requires officers to address people by the name and pronouns associated with their gender identity, even if that name isn’t on official records.
It also states officers should never publicly disclose a person’s sexual orientation or gender assigned at birth without consent of the person or unless for a “proper law enforcement purpose.”
And, it notes, “as a general rule” officers should treat a person based on their gender identity regardless of gender assigned at birth.
Grewal is also mandating that all cops be trained in the new initiative by June 1, 2020.
“Building on the extraordinary work of law enforcement agencies across this country and right here in New Jersey,” Grewal said in a news release, “we’re ensuring that our officers will act in ways that promote the dignity and safety of LGBTQ individuals, whether they are victims, witnesses, suspects, arrestees, or other members of the public.”
Let’s play this out for a minute.
According to the directive, if Joe Smith is pulled over, and supplies the officer with a driver’s license that says ‘Joe Smith’ and ‘male’, the officer is not allowed to call him ‘Mr. Smith’ or ‘sir’, if Joe says “call me Margaret.”
Grewal writes: Transgender individuals’ chosen names and pronouns are critical to their dignity and identity. Law enforcement officers therefore shall:
- Address individuals using their chosen names that reflect their gender identity—even if the name is not the one that is recognized on official legal records and even if that name changes over time—as well as their chosen pronouns;
- Include chosen names and chosen pronouns in all relevant documentation, as discussed further in Appendix A to this Directive; and
- Use chosen names and pronouns in any communications about that individual with members of the public, including with the press, except where doing so would disclose an individual’s LGBTQ+ status in violation of Part I.A.3, and except where necessary in legal filings and in communications about those filings.
Law enforcement officers should also be aware that the proper language and terms have evolved over time—and may continue to evolve in the future. To help guide officers regarding the proper language to use, Appendix A includes a list of defined terms, which will be updated as necessary, as well as terms to avoid. Officers should familiarize themselves with the Appendix.
Officers are now required to write their reports using the preferred vernacular of the suspect, and they are not able to correctly identify the individual, because the report could potentially be released via the Freedom of Information Act.
Fast forward to a trial.
Defense attorney says, “Officer, your report says that you witnessed Margaret driving erratically, and you initiated a traffic stop, performed a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer, and arrested her for driving under the influence. Is that correct?”
Officer responds, “Yes.”
Defense continues, “My client’s name in Joe Smith. My client is not the same person you pulled over and arrested.”
Technicality? Yes. Possible? Absolutely.
Other areas of emphasis include:
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If detained individuals are held in areas that are segregated on the basis of gender, law enforcement shall:
House, place, or otherwise detain individuals in line with their gender identity or expression, regardless of the gender that individual was assigned at birth and/or their anatomical characteristics unless they request otherwise as laid out in Part II.C.2.
In other words, a transgender woman shall be housed with other women, unless she requests otherwise (see Part II.C.2), and a transgender man shall be housed with other men, unless he requests otherwise (see Part II.C.2).
- Permit individuals to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity or expression, regardless of the gender that individual was assigned at birth and/or their anatomical characteristics.
- If a facility has available private cells and/or restrooms, law enforcement shall not:
- Refuse to accommodate a request by transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming individuals to have a private cell or to use a private restroom, where doing so is practicable and ensures that individual’s safety.8 The denial of such request must, where practicable, be reviewed and approved by a supervisor. The denial shall be documented in writing.
- Require someone to be housed, placed, or otherwise detained in a private cell or to use a private restroom on the basis of that person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression and/or sexual orientation, absent such a request.
- Law enforcement officers shall never deny transgender individuals access to any items (including clothing, personal property, and appearance-related items, like prosthetics, bras, wigs, undergarments, chest binders, and cosmetic items) and/or any programming (including educational programming) that they would allow a cisgender individual of the same gender identity to have, regardless of the gender that individual was assigned at birth and/or their anatomical characteristics.
This is not the first time we have chronicled the AG and his blatant disregard of law enforcement.
He’s issued directives to police across the state that they better not cooperate with federal immigration officials… and if they do, he’s threatening action against their departments.
But now his words have gone viral and the Blue Family won’t stand for it.
Some are even calling for his resignation.
Anthony Gallo is a candidate running for the elected position of sheriff in Middlesex county. He says that the AG’s stance on immigration is going directly against federal law. In a Facebook post, the GOP candidate called out the AG and asked for him to step down.
The post accused Grewal of “harboring ‘criminal’ illegal aliens” within New Jersey communities, noting that of 21 counties in the state, 19 “have been releasing these ‘Criminals’ into our backyards with our Families.”
Gallo wrote that “NO politician or appointed official has the right to tell a sitting Sheriff who is elected by the People what to do. Only the people can do that at the ballot box.”
Insider NJ reported that Gallo also called for the removal of Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott, “who listens to this Criminal Attorney General and not the People of Middlesex County.”
The criticism arose this week when AG Grewal went after two sheriff’s offices for “failing to inform the state’s attorney general that they are helping federal immigration authorities capture and deport undocumented migrants.”
So, because law enforcement officers in New Jersey are doing their jobs by working with federal ICE agents to help arrest and deport people who are actively breaking the law, the attorney general, who is supposed to work to uphold the Constitution…is threatening them?
We’re a nation of laws. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones we break and which we uphold.
In a pair of aggressive letters that Grewal’s office sent to the elected sheriffs in Monmouth and Cape May, officials claim the county sheriffs went directly against a directive that Grewal had issued which would aim to limit cooperation between New Jersey cops and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It’s called Law Enforcement Directive 2018-6, more commonly referred to as the “Immigrant Trust Directive”, and it bars local law enforcement agencies from voluntarily working with federal immigration officials.
Grewal’s office now says that working with federal officials in this capacity would “essentially deputize our state’s police officers to act like ICE agents.” Grewal says that the measure was supposed to build trust between the immigrant communities and law enforcement for reporting and helping with criminal investigations. He says cooperation with ICE can only continue if he decides it serves “a valid law enforcement purpose.”
Critics say the AG’s new directive has turned New Jersey into a Sanctuary State. Complaints started pouring in, including letters being sent to U.S. AG William Barr asking for assistance. Citizens even petitioned to put the directive to a vote, claiming that Grewal’s agenda was not what the state wanted.
Grewal shot it down, claiming absolute power over his directive to police.
“Officials and residents may not instruct their law enforcement officers to ignore a law enforcement directive,” Grewal said following complaints about the measure.
Grewal’s directive went into effect in March of 2019. NJ.com reported that at the time, sheriff’s offices in three New Jersey counties — Cape May, Monmouth and Salem — still had existing agreements with ICE under a program dubbed “287g,” which allows state and local law enforcement to “act as a force multiplier” for ICE. Several counties had earlier done away with the agreements, which in New Jersey mainly applied to officers in county jails.
21 states take part in the 287g program. Officials say it “allows ICE to actively engage criminal alien offenders while incarcerated in a secure and controlled environment.”
When Grewal’s office found out that the two counties had renewed their program contract with federal officials, they lashed out with the harshly worded letters.
Grewal says that the departments’ failure to notify the AG’s office about the renewal directly shows that they “deliberately declined to disclose this information over the past four months.”
Now the AG has given these two counties a deadline to provide detailed info on their continued efforts to work alongside ICE. And he says if they don’t meet that deadline – he’ll issue a new directive completely banning officers within those departments from any cooperation with ICE.
Funny how just last week he tweeted about successfully working with federal and local agencies to reduce crime in the state.
Other anonymous members of New Jersey law enforcement have spoken with LET about the directive. They say that not only is Grewal misrepresenting the voice from his constituents, but he’s ignoring federal laws in favor of his own agenda. He shouldn’t be allowed to decide which laws are valid and which aren’t. They say he’s abusing his power and they want him gone.
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