Stop Police Violence in Cumberland County, NJ!

  • by: Melissa Byrne
  • recipient: Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice

In just the past 90 days, three members of the Cumberland County, NJ, community where I grew up have died at the hands of police or while in police custody:

  • Jerame Reid, a Black man shot with his hands up.
  • Phillip White, a Black man mauled by an attack dog and punched by an officer while already laying on the ground.
  • Alissa Allen, a 24-year-old woman found dead in the county jail, all alone

Beyond their three deaths, there have been hundreds and hundreds of allegations of excessive force across Cumberland County.

Enough is enough. It's time for a Justice Department investigation to keep us safe and help end the violence!

I grew up in Vineland, and I learned in school from my teachers that we are obligated to work for justice. Right now, that means getting the Department of Justice to open an investigation into all our county's police forces. Such an investigation will provide these agencies with an audit, hold them accountable, provide them with needed trainings to prevent excessive force in the future, and improve community relations with our law enforcement.

We can't afford the current trends to continue - and we need your help to make enough noise to get the Justice Department's attention. Please sign my petition today, and I'll deliver your signatures to Attorney General Holder and his staff!

Dear Attorney General Lynch,


In just the past 90 days, three members of the Cumberland County, NJ, community have died at the hands of police or while in police custody. Jerame Reid was a Black man shot with his hands up, Phillip White was a Black man mauled by an attack dog and punched by an officer while already laying on the ground, and Alissa Allen was a 24-year-old woman found dead, alone in the county jail. Beyond their three deaths, there have also been hundreds and hundreds of allegations of excessive force across Cumberland County.


Enough is enough - we need the Department of Justice to help south New Jersey! Please immediately send department officials to audit the Vineland Police Department, the Bridgeton Police Department, the Millville Police Department, and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. Citizens need a full investigation of these departments to reduce the use of excessive force and the number of deaths in police custody.

Update #36 years ago
Thank you for calling for police reform in NJ! If you’re near either Philadelphia or Washington, please join the petition delivery this Tuesday, May 5.

Jerame's widow LaWanda Reid, petition author Melissa Byrne, National Awareness Alliance chair Walter Hudson will hold a press conference at 8am at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, then deliver the petitions with Care2 staff to the DOJ in DC at 12. Please join us! Click Melissa's name on the petition to let her know if you can make it.
Update #26 years ago
Today, a Millville police police was arrested for a DUI while Cumberland County was named "worst for children in state." The county is also getting ready to move the young offenders program to Burlington county cause a large geographic distance between children and their families.

Cumberland County needs the oversight of the DOJ asap. Please share this petition so that we can get over 50K signatures.

-Melissa
Update #16 years ago
Can you make a quick call to Senator Booker to ask him to demand that the Department of Justice investigate all the police departments in Cumberland County to hold them accountable and to prevent future excessive force? Call (202) 224-3224 and say this is about Jerame Reid, Phillip White, and Allisa Allen.

Thank you
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