Protester Says She Was Racially Targeted; South Orange Police Say Multiple Summonses Issued

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A West Orange resident is saying that she is being targeted because she is Black after she received summonses related to a ceasefire rally in South Orange on March 31. The South Orange police chief says that more than one person received summonses related to the incident, but did not indicate who received summonses.

In a post of, Lisa Davis wrote that she has received two summonses for a June 18 municipal court date: “one for organizing a special event without a permit and the other is for loud, continuous, excessive noise via sound amplification equipment.” However, Davis says that she is not the organizer of the protests and “secondly, I NEVER lead the protests or the chants!” Davis says she received the summonses after sharing video of an “aggressive” counter protester with a South Orange police officer. (The video is available at the link.)

Davis said that her summonses are unwarranted but “not a surprise considering that a report published about police brutality and racism in NJ called The Force Report states that Black people in South Orange are 9 times more likely to experience police brutality than White people.”

In response to a request for comment, South Orange Police Chief Ernesto Morillo said, “Because this is a pending municipal court case, we are not inclined to offer any specific comment at this time. The court administrator can advise you as to whether or not this zoom is open to the public.”

However, Morillo did share: “No one was charged with a criminal act, and as such, we do not release names of parties involved. If people choose to share their information voluntarily, there is nothing preventing them from doing so. An investigation was done on scene by our officers as is always the case when they are called to respond to any incident. There was one person transported to the hospital by our EMS. Additionally, more than one person received a summons as a result of that incident.”

Ceasefire Sunday rallies took place in Spiotta Park in South Orange from mid-November 2023 through late January 2024, but the rally moved to Ricalton Square in Maplewood and other locations in South Orange after officials began strictly enforcing event permitting regulations. Read more here.

Village Green will continue to follow this story.

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