Police Memo Details Chilling Threat to Police Officers in New Jersey

Jersey City members of the infamous Bloods gang have asked fellow members in the state to help them shoot a police officer, less than a week after the murder of 23-year-old rookie Jersey City cop Melvin Santiago, the Hudson County View reported, citing a Jersey City Police Department memo it obtained.

A memorial for 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago stands at the Walgreens where he was fatally shot in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago, who joined the force last July and was sworn in December, was fatally shot in the head inside his marked police car as he pulled up to the store. (Image source: AP/John Minchillo) AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“The Cops targeted are those who are working the DOT skyway Detail single man unit,” the memo states. “In addition to shooting a Police Officer, members of the BLOODS will attack and shoot Jersey City EMTs because they know the Police Officers will respond immediately to their back-up.”

The memo calls on members specifically in Camden and Newark. It concludes, citing a reliable source, that “the BLOODS will not stop” until the National Guard is called in.

The Hudson County View reported that a source — who remained anonymous because the source isn’t authorized to speak on the matter — told the paper that the memo is authentic.

WABC-TV in New York ran a report about a similar memo but didn’t reveal the name of the gang; the station noted that other documents suggest gang members are stashing automatic weapons in abandoned buildings, possibly in preparation for a police-related attack.

Jersey City Public Safety Director Jim Shea said the threat isn’t credible and has been taken out of context.

“What happened here is one member of our force put the threat out on social media where it was viewed by people who do not have the context to view it and judge it for what it is and they took it at face value,” Shea said, according to NJ.com, citing an interview with The Jersey Journal.

Shea also questioned the ability of the Bloods to carry out such an attack. “The idea that they are an organized group that could send people from city to city is ridiculous,” he said. “Anybody I’ve ever met who self identifies himself as a Blood is lucky he could tie his shoes, at a mental level.”

While the alleged call to gang members outside Jersey City reportedly stems from the shooting death of 20-year-old Lavon King, WABC said, who was killed during a struggle with Jersey City police late last month, tensions have seemingly spiked since Officer Santiago’s murder last weekend.

Santiago was killed while responding to reports of an armed robbery early Sunday at a 24-hour drug store.

A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. (Image source: AP/Julio Cortez)
A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. (Image source: AP/Julio Cortez)

Authorities said the suspect, 27-year-old Lawrence Campbell, grabbed a security guard’s gun and waited for police to arrive before opening fire. Campbell was then killed by police. The suspect reportedly told a witness to watch the news because he was “going to be famous.”

A wake for Officer Santiago is scheduled for Thursday afternoon and his funeral is scheduled for Friday morning.

‘Thug in Peace’: Sidewalk Memorial for Cop Killer Angers Police

Emotions heightened further after the creation of sidewalk memorial to Campbell in his neighborhood with slogans such as “Thug in Peace.” Mayor Steven Fulop ordered the display taken down: “I am not going to let a few residents pretend like they express the views of a great city like Jersey City,” he said, NJ.com reported.

A pedestrian stands at a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (Image source: AP/John Minchillo)

Angelique Campbell, Campbell’s widow, told News 12 New Jersey on Sunday she was sorry for Santiago’s family but her husband should have killed more officers if they were planning to kill him; she later apologized for her remarks.

Campbell also said she isn’t looking to restore the sidewalk memorial.

“Both families are hurt. Let this cop be laid to rest peacefully. Let Lawrence be put to rest peacefully. That’s it,” she told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “There’s no back-and-forth. I don’t want to argue with no cops, I don’t want to fight with no cops. I just want to put him in the ground, he’s gone, that’s it.”

Shooting Near Sidewalk Memorial

On Tuesday a Jersey City police officer shot a man who authorities said attacked the officer and his partner with a sharpened fence post — about a block from the Campbell memorial, NJ.com reported.

According to a preliminary investigation, two emergency services officers saw the 25-year-old man at approximately 2:30 a.m. and ordered him to drop the post, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Authorities said the man threw the post through the vehicle’s passenger-side window, hitting an officer in the head. The man then reached through the window and grabbed the officer’s rifle, authorities said. The two struggled for the rifle, which discharged through the vehicle’s door and struck the man, officials said.

The officers exited the vehicle and ordered the man to the ground. One officer opened fire after authorities said the man refused to show his hands and hid a hand in his waistband. The man was taken to a hospital and was expected to undergo surgery for non-life-threatening injuries, the prosecutor’s office said. The man’s name has not been released. The police officers were also being treated.

Local News Anchor Quits Over Demotion After Controversial On-Air Remarks

Following his unexpected on-air comments about “young black men growing up without fathers” after Officer Santiago’s shooting, veteran reporter Sean Bergin told TheBlaze his now-former employer News 12 made him an “offer I had to refuse.” The news company slapped him with the equivalent of a “demotion,” significantly slashing his pay and allowing him to work just one day a week in Long Island.

Bergin’s commentary noted an “anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities.” Then he added: “It has made the police officer’s job impossible and it has got to stop. The underlying cause of all of this, of course: young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.