From The Star-Ledger:
The Justice Department will place the Newark Police Department under a monitor later this year, the first time in state history that a municipal police agency will operate under a federal watchdog, according to four sources familiar with the situation.
The decision follows a federal review of the way the state’s largest police force swept aside accusations of misconduct against hundreds of officers and its almost-total failure to address complaints of brutality and abuse lodged by Newark residents over the years.
The investigation began in 2011, a year after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a scathing 96-page petition with the Department of Justice, accusing Newark’s police of rampant misconduct.
The ACLU investigation found citizens filed 261 complaints with the department accusing officers of using excessive force, biased actions, improper searches or false arrests in 2008 and 2009. Only one complaint was sustained by the department.
One officer faced 62 internal affairs investigations during a 14-year career, according to the petition, while Newark shelled out nearly $5 million in response to civil lawsuits from 2007 to 2009.