After photos of New Jersey state troopers posing with seized drugs while holding the Puerto Rican flag surfaced, many are demanding to know why the apparently racist photos were taken and what was meant by the inclusion of the flag.
The people of the South Jersey town of Camden are demanding to know the meaning behind the photos said to have been taken after a drug raid in 2009.
As is the case after most large seizures, photos of the confiscated drugs and weapons were taken. However, two photos clearly stand out from the rest.
As officers likely involved in the raid pose next to the drugs, in two separate photos, a man holds the flag of Puerto Rico while smiling.
Those who have examined the photos say the flag holder does not appear to be Puerto Rican so holding the flag in a prideful manner does not seem to fit.
Former mayoral candidate Angel Cordero told Fox New Philly, ‘You are saying my community. … We are all criminals. You are saying my community is the drug dealers. My community is responsible for all the crime. You are sending a message that we are all criminals.”
A statement from the New Jersey state police stated that the images have been referred to the Office of Professional Standards to determine their context and meaning.
Camden, NJ has a large Hispanic community so it is no wonder many were upset to learn of the photos’ existence.