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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Elizabeth Police Director Used N-Word To Refer To Cops: Attorney

The director of the Elizabeth Police Department is reportedly under investigation for using discriminatory language.
The director of the Elizabeth Police Department is reportedly under investigation for using discriminatory language. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Police

An attorney representing a number of Elizabeth police personnel said the city's veteran public safety director is under investigation for using racist and sexist language in referring to staff under his charge. 

"He has used the n-word to describe his own black female cops," attorney Joshua F. McMahon said of James Cosgrove, who has headed the public safety department since 1998. 

McMahon said the 73-year-old Cosgrove also routinely used the "c-word" -- a vulgar reference to female genitalia -- and that several police officers have complained of the conduct despite a pattern of what McMahon described as "systematic retaliation." 

McMahon confirmed an NJ.com report that Cosgrove has been under investigation since February. NJ.com viewed an email in which an assistant Union County prosecutor referred to an ongoing investigation of the alleged behavior. 

McMahon declined to specify how many people were involved in the complaint. A spokeswoman for the city reached by Daily Voice would not comment on the matter. 

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