NJSPBA pres. joins Hoboken officials in calling for NY Waterway apology over ‘gestapo’ comment


Patrick Colligan, the president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, is joining Hoboken officials in calling on New York Waterway to apologize after one of the attorneys representing them compared Hoboken police to “gestapo” during a court hearing yesterday.

Anthony Bocchi, an attorney representing NY Waterway, said Hoboken police were “showing up like gestapo” at a court hearing on June 29th, 2019.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“It should go without saying that the statement made by New York Waterway comparing the fine men and women of the Hoboken Police Department to the vile secret state police of Nazi Germany is well beyond any acceptable societal boundaries,” Colligan said in a statement.

“Frankly, it is hard to fathom how anyone could believe smearing the dedicated community servants of the HPD for simply doing their jobs with a historically despicable reference like this can go unanswered. All across our country, members of the law enforcement community continue to find their very well-being endangered and disgusting characterizations like the one made in court by New York Waterway can only help exacerbate the problem.”

Colligan continued that anything less that a public apology in this matter would be “completely unacceptable.”

Yesterday, NY Waterway had a lawsuit against the City of Hoboken over Union Dry Dock dismissed by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Jablonsky since he felt the organization would not sustain any irreparable harm by following the city’s planning and zoning laws.

During the hearing, Anthony Bocchi, an attorney representing NY Waterway, compared Hoboken police to the gestapo over the way they were enforcing rules and regulations at Union Dry Dock.

“That is in tandem with the electrical permit. That is in tandem with the public statements that have already been made, that is in tandem with the police showing up like the gestapo watching the site, saying you can’t do these things,” he said yesterday.

As a result, Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Hoboken Police Superior Officers Association President Lt. John Petrosino both called for an immediate apology from NY Waterway (with other officials such as Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33) later joining them).

A spokesman for NY Waterway did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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  1. Anthony Boccio is well known attorney and that why Anthony Imperatore New York Waterways pays him so much money for his services. Using inflammatory Nazi terminology was not a mistake, it was a carefully calculated strategy.
    I think it is fair to call out both client and attorney for their disgusting behavior