CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO: 1 minute mark: Actual Unlawful Arrest Shown on ABC –
Internal Affairs Investigation outcome: Dectective during interview, “Trooper Hopson, we’ve investigated all your allegations from the first meeting,” “Each one of them has been verified.” … “We studied the videotape of the drunk driving arrest,” He continued. “Then we followed up by interviewing the occupants of the red sedan. Just as you said, it was a white male driving. It’s also clear that everyone knew it, including your trainer.”… “Key moment on the video,” said the detective, “was the voice of Trooper Cole saying these words___”The guy driving the car ditched.” So it’s obvious the truth was on your side, and that your trainer__by his own self-incriminated words__made an unlawful arrest, lied about it, and allowed you to be hazed. The whole thing is frankly sickening. It’s sickening for your sake, for the sake of those arrested, and for all of us who depend on law and justice.”
Unfortunately, this finding did not end the harassment for Trooper Hopson. Retaliation continued, because he refused to support an illegal arrest. Hopson became the target of a sensitive internal investigation. Miranda rights read. Advised to get an attorney. Sergeant shaking his head,
“This is the first time I’ve ever had to do this with a Trooper.” Hopson prayed and repeated the Bible verse, “The truth shall set you free.” Eventually charges were dropped. … Hopson writes, “I was glad to be working, grateful to have “left the scene of the crime. But still there was the feeling that I was a team player on the wrong team.” … “An official who called me to tell me about a new follow-up. More issues being investigated to scare me. I expressed loud and clear, that I had deep concerns for my safety. The official concluded …”Don’t take this the wrong way, Hopson, but I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.” “Actually, I didn’t like being in them myself, but i took his meaning: Be on guard, my friend.”
“John Oliva had started it, and I was going to see it through__for him, for his parents, for all of us. His tragic life was over, but I had inherited his legacy. Though we had never known each other, our life purposes were now intertwined. I could not afford to fail. Justin Hopson
Oliva performed exceedingly well at the Academy, earning an award for “highest overall physical average,” and maintaining an academic average of 88.9. (Pl’s Ex. 7) Although he was a “new recruit” to the State Police, Oliva had extensive experience in other law enforcement positions. He began his career in the Marines, serving four years before his honorable discharge. Oliva spent another four years as a corrections officer in Atlantic County (Pl’s Ex. 1) before becoming a municipal police officer. He served as a municipal police officer for six years before entering the State Police Academy. (Pl’s Ex. 3-4) During his time as a municipal police officer, he was repeatedly recognized by his superiors for his “outstanding performance.” (Pl’s Ex. 4)
ESTATE OF John OLIVA, Plaintiff, v. State of NEW JERSEY, et al., Defendants.
United States District Court, D. New Jersey.
September 30, 2008.the Plaintiff, in this case, Oliva was continually harassed by other members of the State Police on account of Oliva’s “whistleblowing” about alleged racial profiling in conducting traffic stops. This harassment, Plaintiff alleges, was so severe that it caused Oliva to take his own life.
Mr. Hopson never met John, but he knew that they “had been occupying parallel hells”.
Exerpt From Breaking the Blue Wall; I was deeply troubled when I heard the news. …I decided to learn all that I could about the strange life and death of Trooper John Oliva….It had all started like me, a fresh-faced boot just out of the academy. Oliva’s training officer would drive the patrol car to the I-76 ramp at Camden. He would park in a grassy area where Oliva would be told to keep an eye out for certain racial types. The idea was to pull them over, find the drugs, then write ticket and figure out the probable cause later…Oliva later testified that in each case, the charges were ___for lack of a better term___lies. “WE never even followed them,” he said. “We made up the violation to justify the stops.”…That is when the Lords of Discipline stepped up to make their presence known….Meanwhile, Oliva’s trainer was actually promoted even as Oliva’s serious charges against him were on the record. Remarkably, Oliva’s trainer became an instructor at the academy and in 2001 taught me police tactics.
After some reflection, I decided to attend Trooper Oliva’s viewing at the funeral home……It wasn’t a very comfortable experience. Some part of me wondered if this could be a preview of coming attractions. But it felt like the right thing to do, being there to honor John and support his family.
Then, in the open coffin, I finally saw John himself..I looked hard at his face, wondering what secrets lay behind those tranquil features. What advice would he give me if he could open his eyes and speak at this moment? His weeping family stood all around, including John, Sr., the father…I shook the hand of John Oliva, Sr. Though I was a stranger and not emotionally demonstrative, I pulled him to a near embrace. “Sir, I am a fellow trooper,” I began. “I never had the privilege of meeting your son.” I waited for eye contact before adding, “What I want you to know is that he did not die in vain. Your son’s sacrifice will change the New Jersey State Police. And the so-called Lords of Discipline will be dealt with. I wanted you to be sure about that.” He found it hard to speak, but a dawning awareness appeared in his wet eyes. “You are like John, aren’t you?” Those words sent a chill down my spine. I just looked back at him. “You are,” he said more confidently. “You are like him.” Justin Hopson.
Read more about this timely subject in Justin Hopson’s Book, Breaking the Blue Wall. Secure an autographed copy. No shipping in Westcliffe, CO. from June Bianchi, email@example.com. 719 783 4343.
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