Archived: Cop’s Racist Tirade Against Latinos Stirs Community

By Sheryl Estrada

Photos of Jasmine Vidal and her boyfriend taken from the cellphone video of their encounter with Sgt. Roy Bordamonte.

A cellphone video recording a police sergeant hurling racial insults at Latino teens has surfaced, causing protests and a petition to get him fired.

In September, Jasmine Vidal of Passaic, N.J., (a town that is 70 percent Latino) posted on Facebook a video of an encounter that occurred in October 2014 between her, Passaic police department’s Sgt. Roy Bordamonte, her boyfriend and another teen.

Vidal said in a recent interview that while the three were sitting on her porch, Bordamonte drove up and started talking to them from inside of his patrol car. The conversation eventually escalated. Bordamonte got out of the car swearing at them.

In the almost seven-minute video, Bordamonte, who is of Filipino descent,uses abusive language filled with profanity, and he also brings up immigration.

He asks Vidal’s boyfriend, “You go to school What are you, f—ing special ed You f—ing an idiot. You might be an idiot because you mouthed off. That’s why you’re going to get this ticket.”

Bordamonte then begins making racist comments:

Don’t worry, I’m going to knock on your f—ing door, and I’m going to check your mom’s ID, and all your f—ing cousins and relatives, and when they give me a fake f—ing name, I’m going to have immigration pick everybody up so they can go back to the f—ing border or wherever the f–k they came from. And all the hard work they came to America, you f—ed it up.

View the video also posted on YouTube:

The cop calls Vidal’s boyfriend illegal because he does not have ID on him.

“Turn around. Keep your hands on the f—ing top, ’cause if I think you might be movin’, you might be going for me, I’ll f—ing choke your ass out.”

Bordamonte then says he’d drag the young man’s “mom and dad back to the f—ing [border]” and “I’ll make this s–t f—ing like Texas, bro or Arizona.”

Theofficer may have been referring to Arizona’s controversial immigration law that allows police to detain a person if he or she is suspected to be an illegal immigrant. In April, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey joined the governors of Texas, Louisiana and South Dakota in a legal brief to challenge President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, which provoked outrage among immigrant activists.

Ironically, until the video surfaced, Bordamonte, known in the community to regularly harass Latinos, was head of the City of Passaic Police Department’s bias crimes unit, which investigates racially motivated crimes.

The video doesn’t show why Bordamonte stopped to talk to the three teens or the reason why he said he would give Vidal’s boyfriend a ticket.

While an internal investigation takes place, Bordamonte will remain the supervisor of the department’s controversial Quality of Life patrol unit, according to Acting Police Chief Rosario Capuana said the sergeant is not allowed to leave his desk job at police headquarters to respond to calls on the street.

According to a Facebook page named “Fire Sgt. Roy Bordamonte,”a march was planned forSunday from Pulaski Park to Passaic City Hall.

On Sept. 22, hundreds of people rallied outside Passaic City Hall demanding tougher discipline.

“We provide taxes, we work to build a better future,” a protest leader said. “We’re here to stay, we’re here to provide for our families and we’re not leaving.”

James Johnson, a resident of Passaic, authored a petition on asking New Jersey Sens. Cory Booker (D) and Robert Menendez (D) to remove the cop.

“I’m starting this petition because an officer in my town of Passaic, N.J., harasses citizens daily,” Johnson wrote. “He’s a bully in our city. To the residents of Passaic this isn’t nothing new but this has to stop enough is enough the voice you hear on the video is officer ROY himself demonstrating how he and his task force serve and protect or should I say harrass and disrespect..we need justice for our citizens!!!”

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