N.J. police dispatcher resigns after making racist comment about protest photo on Facebook – NJ.com


An employee of the Woodbridge Township Police Department has resigned after he was suspended for posting a racist comment on social media.

Marc Repace, who worked as a dispatcher, submitted his resignation Monday after the Facebook exchange came to light.

“He was immediately suspended once we identified the post as coming from him,” John Hagerty, Woodbridge Township spokesman, told NJ Advance Media. He said Repace resigned after an official review of the Facebook messages.

In the messages, Repace comments on a photo taken Friday of a child at a Boston protest of police brutality and racial injustice. The protest was one of many that have taken place across the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, a black man, was killed as police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. In a video of the encounter, Floyd said multiple times that he could not breathe.

The police dispatcher’s comments can be seen in screenshots of a Facebook exchange between Repace and an anonymous Woodbridge resident that have since been deleted but circulated by other locals. In the exchange, Repace reacts to the photo of the 8-year-old boy.

In the photo, the boy, who is black, holds a sign that says, “At what age do I go from handsome to a threat?”

“17 give or take a year or two,” Repace said in his reply to the photo. “LMFAO totally kidding.”

“You are absolutely disgusting,” the anonymous resident replied. “You were in the military and now you work for the Woodbridge Police Department you fit the stereotype. I honestly don’t understand how you can be making jokes at a time like this when the country is completely divided.”

Mark Repace

Marc Repace, a dispatcher for Woodbridge Township Police, was suspended after residents began sharing screenshots of his recent Facebook messages. Repace commented on a photo of a boy at a Boston protest of police brutality. Screenshots: Facebook/anonymous; original protest photo: Nick Emmons | WBZ-TV

The police department acknowledged Repace’s comment Sunday in a Facebook post.

“The Woodbridge Police Department is saddened and dismayed by a recent social media post attributed to one of its civilian employees,” the statement said. “Immediate action has been taken to discipline the employee. The Woodbridge Police Department does not condone this type of behavior from any of its personnel and is dedicated to the fair and impartial administration of justice for every member of our community.”

The photo of the boy was taken on Boston’s South End by Nick Emmons, an anchor for WBZ-TV, who tweeted the image the same day. On Sunday, Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of The King Center, included the photo in a tweet.

“It pains me that the answer to his question is that racist minds, racist systems and racist America consider him ‘born a threat,’” King said of the boy.

Protests following the death of Floyd have come to local areas including Newark, Trenton, Atlantic City, Camden and Asbury Park.

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