Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Article Index


New Jersey

N.J.S.A. 10:5-3   NEW JERSEY STATUTES ANNOTATED   TITLE 10. CIVIL RIGHTS   CHAPTER 5. LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION    10:5-3. Legislative findings and declarations


The Legislature finds and declares that practices of discrimination against any of its inhabitants, because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability or nationality, are matters of concern to the government of the State, and that such discrimination threatens not only the rights and proper privileges of the inhabitants of the State but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic State;  provided, however, that nothing in this expression of policy prevents the making of legitimate distinctions between citizens and aliens when required by federal law or otherwise necessary to promote the national interest.

The Legislature further declares its opposition to such practices of discrimination when directed against any person by reason of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability or nationality of that person or that person's spouse, partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers, in order that the economic prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State may be protected and ensured.

The Legislature further finds that because of discrimination, people suffer personal hardships, and the State suffers a grievous harm.  The personal hardships include:  economic loss;  time loss;  physical and emotional stress; and in some cases severe emotional trauma, illness, homelessness or other irreparable harm resulting from the strain of employment controversies; relocation, search and moving difficulties;  anxiety caused by lack of information, uncertainty, and resultant planning difficulty;  career, education, family and social disruption;  and adjustment problems, which particularly impact on those protected by this act.  Such harms have, under the common law, given rise to legal remedies, including compensatory and punitive damages.  The Legislature intends that such damages be available to all persons protected by this act and that this act shall be liberally construed in combination with other protections available under the laws of this State.

 

N.J.S.A. 2C:30-5   NEW JERSEY STATUTES ANNOTATED   TITLE 2C. THE NEW JERSEY CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE   SUBTITLE 2. DEFINITION OF SPECIFIC OFFENSES    PART 4. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION    CHAPTER 30. MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE: ABUSE OF OFFICE    2C:30-5. Legislative findings


The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. Public confidence in the institutions of government is undermined when an official engages in any form of misconduct involving the official's office.

b. Such misconduct, and the corresponding damage to the public confidence, impairs the ability of government to function properly, fosters mistrust and engenders disrespect for government and public servants.

c. A particular concern arises when a law enforcement official, duly entrusted to protect the public safety and impartially enforce the laws, abuses that trust by unlawfully depriving persons of their civil rights, especially in the context of racial profiling.

d. It is important to ensure that law enforcement officers are prohibited from using racial characteristics or color, either alone or in conjunction with other composite characteristics such as a generalized vehicle description or the age of the driver or passengers, as the basis for initiating an investigative stop.

e. Existing laws must be amended to provide a greater deterrent to this type of conduct, as well as to enhance other provisions of the law targeting official misconduct.

f. Accordingly, it is in the public interest to strengthen our laws that define and punish acts of official misconduct by members of law enforcement and other public servants.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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