One year after Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals was the first of four innocent lives taken during an hours-long shootout in Greenville, the city came together to honor his memory this morning.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
One year ago, the mass shooting, later deemed an Anti-Semitic, domestic terrorist attack, took the life of Seals, Leah Minda Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Moshe Deutsch.
Fulop thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Port Authority police, and officers from other municipal police departments for attending the ceremony at the Bayview cemetery – the location where Seals was fatally shot while meeting an informant who then reacted by creating a violent standoff with police.
“Today serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and commitment law enforcement make every single day because they choose to. Joseph Seals serves as an example of that,” Fulop said.
Without Kelly commanding, “a horrible day would have been much, much worse,” Fulop added.
“From a leadership standpoint, it really was something that is a model when you look at the response of a police department in this tough situation.”
During his remarks, Kelly noted that his office doesn’t pay homage to athletes or celebrities, but instead to police officers that made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It seems like it way yesterday, seems like it was days ago, that we were in the middle of a gun battle. Seems like it was yesterday we lost Joe Seals,” Kelly said.
He added Seals was an “elite cop” whose actions led to the removal of hundreds of guns from the streets. He also noted Seals was a father of five children. Fulop and Kelly escorted the family to the grave to lay a wreath.
During the ceremony, the honor guard presented the colors and the band played taps, as well as a moment of silence where Seals was recognized over the police radio. There was a brief flyover organized as well.
Hundreds of Jersey City police officers were in attendance for the ceremony, with many flags waving in remembrance of his life.
During a brief question and answer session with the media, Fulop said there no signs of anti-Semitism in the neighborhood prior to the attack.
“Jersey City’s history is of that of an immigrant community dozens, upon dozens of nationalities moving in here and mixing with the community,” Fulop said.
“Absolutely nothing has supported the narrative that tension in the community led to this,” added Public Safety Director James Shea.
Last year, Seals’ funeral drew thousands of law enforcement members from New Jersey and beyond and members of the Jewish community helped raise $47,000 for his family.