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NAACP Passes Resolution to File Supporting Lawsuit Against West Orange

West_Orange_Municipal_BuildingThe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of the Oranges and Maplewood unit filed support in a lawsuit against the West Orange Police Department. Docket No. ESX-L-6761-08 has questioned their resolution about the actions taken by the West Orange Police Department in the case of Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. The Resolution is in support of Amicus Curiae in the matter of Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. and the West Orange Police Department.

In the resolution, the NAACP states that Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. is a member of the NAACP of the Oranges and Maplewood. They state that Hawkins scored higher than a white officer on the same list. The white officer was given preferential placement and ultimately got an increased salary. This thus violated the "Rule of 3." Hawkins alleges that he was forced to suffer a hostile work environment resulting in his required leave of absence based on his race and complaint of discriminatory treatment.

Also, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) of West Orange wrote a letter on July 3, 2007 to Chief James P. Abbott stating the detailed circumstances of what happened in their opinion. As per their allegation, Hawkins scored higher on the police entrance exam than Brad Squires, Michelle Nagle. and John Rolli. Brad Squires was hired before Hawkins on July 9, 2004. Hawkins and John Rolli were hired on July 12, 20004 and Michelle Nagle on July 23, 2004. By hiring Hawkins, Rolli, and Nagle after July 10, 2004, the township prevented these three officers from getting their first step raise, unlike Squires who received his first step raise five months after getting hired.

 

The NAACP of the Oranges and Maplewood passed a resolution to seek approval from the National Office of NAACP to make application as Amicus Curiae. The executive committee has proposed the resolution in their July 13, 2010 meeting, and the general body approved it in their July 27, 2010 meeting.

The West Orange Police Department did not wish to comment on the matter, but referred us to lawyer, Steve Marion, who was unavailable for comment.

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