In a recent incident, Joseph Signorello, the Mayor of Roselle Park, confronted and ambushed James O’Keefe, the founder of O’Keefe Media Group. This confrontation occurred after O’Keefe exposed school board officials who had called the police on citizens who appeared “Trumpish.” O’Keefe shared the encounter on Sunday, stating that Signorello had requested a hidden camera to ambush him.
One of the key points of contention during the encounter was Signorello’s claim that O’Keefe had no right to attend the Roselle Park school board meeting since he did not have any children in the district. However, O’Keefe quickly pointed out that Signorello himself did not have any children in the district either, making his argument baseless.
O’Keefe Media Group released 20 minutes of police bodycam footage on Wednesday, highlighting the incident in which New Jersey school board officials called the police on individuals they deemed “Trumpish.” According to O’Keefe, the police and the school officials collaborated to scan license plates of attendees at the school board meetings who looked different. These recordings were obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and are part of a series of police bodycam recordings planned for release.
The footage exposes the true opinions of the school board officials and police regarding people they consider “Trumpish” when they believe they are not being watched. On August 8, Livingston school board officials called the police on citizens purely because they did not recognize them. Toni McLaughlin, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, even described these citizens as different-looking and “Trumpish,” furthering the discriminatory nature of the incident. She also expressed her concern to the police officer, labeling them as somewhat scary.
Furthermore, McLaughlin and Officer Pancione, who responded to the call, compared journalists from O’Keefe Media Group to Antifa. Officer Pancione went as far as stating that he does not answer to journalists. This collaboration between the school board and the officer specifically aimed to target O’Keefe and his reporters.
Following this incident, the Livingston Police Department has initiated a review of Officer Pancione’s behavior, acknowledging the need to address any deficiencies in his conduct.
This clash between O’Keefe and Signorello, coupled with the release of the police bodycam footage, has raised concerns about the discriminatory practices and biased attitudes of school board officials and law enforcement towards individuals deemed “Trumpish.” Many have expressed their disapproval of the actions taken against these citizens and have called for accountability at both the local and national levels.
As the situation continues to unfold, it is crucial to address any biases within institutions and ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and without prejudice. The release of these recordings serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in maintaining trust between citizens and those in positions of authority.