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DOJ Civil Rights Attorney Accused of Giving Anti-Police Presentation To High School Students

Franklin Lakes, NJ – A New Jersey high school recently brought in a federal employee to teach students about law enforcement “misconduct” and civil rights violations, but the presentation included information that was blatantly misleading and false, some parents argued.

During her “Police Violence and People of Color” lecture at Ramapo High School on May 18, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorney Torey Cummings presented students with information that critics say unfairly portrayed law enforcement officers in a negative light, frustrated parents told the Daily Voice.

One slide allegedly showed police searching black suspects, while another depicted “a menacing cop with a big gun,” former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told the Daily Voice.

“Why would you show that to high school kids?” asked Kerik, a Franklin Lakes resident. “The only reason you do that is to turn them against the police.”

The former police commissioner said the presentation stokes division and perpetuates inaccurate narratives about law enforcement.

“It’s unbelievable, really,” he told the Daily Voice. “We’ve got great police officers here [in Franklin Lakes] and the surrounding communities. We don’t have racial or community issues. Now these children are being indoctrinated with material that fosters hatred and creates a racial divide.”

Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District Interim Superintendent Anthony Riscica told the Daily Voice the district holds state and local law enforcement agencies “in high regard” and that it has “a long history of partnership” with them.

“We…acknowledge the risks they assume in securing the safety and security of our students, staff members and our communities,” Riscica added.

He said the district is “obligated” to allow speakers such as Cummings to speak with students, the Daily Voice reported.

“During the course of any school year many speakers are invited to talk with our students about issues of public importance,” the superintendent said. “We are obliged to permit various viewpoints on these issues, provided the content presented is appropriate for our students.”

Riscica said the “police misconduct” session was voluntary and that no one was forced to attend.

“This is certainly a topic of significant interest to our students,” he told the Daily Voice. “Since the Department of Justice is involved with alleged discriminatory conduct on the part of state actors, its presentation also included cases involving law enforcement officials.”

Riscica said the district will “continue to ensure that presentations of various viewpoints on matters of public concern will be accurate and content appropriate for our students,” according to the news outlet.

Local law enforcement said they would appreciate being given an opportunity to make a presentation to the students as well, but it is unclear whether or not such a plan is in the works.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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