New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is calling for the resignation of the sheriff in the state’s most populous county after he was caught on tape making racist comments about African Americans in relation to the state’s likelihood of legalizing marijuana as well as the state’s Attorney General, the first Sikh in the country to hold such an office.
Saudino is heard telling colleagues what Murphy’s inaugural speech was about: “He talked about the whole thing, the marijuana, sanctuary state…better criminal justice reform. Christ almighty, in other words let the blacks come in, do whatever the fuck they want, smoke their marijuana, do this do that, and don’t worry about it. You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops.”
Shortly after, Saudino complains that Murphy had appointed Attorney General Grewal solely because of “the turban.”
Murphy’s response was swift.
“Without question, the comments made on that recording are appalling, and anyone using racist, homophobic, and hateful language is unfit for public office,” said Gov. Murphy in a statement. “If indeed that is Sheriff Saudino’s voice on the recording, he must resign.”
Although Saudino’s apparent opposition to Murphy’s plan to legalize marijuana references black people’s use of it, studies have shown that blacks do not smoke marijuana at a higher rate than whites, yet are are far more likely to be arrested for possession and consumption of weed than their white counterparts.
Saudino, a white Democrat serving his third term, did not respond to questions sent through a spokesperson, reports WNYC.
The recording, between Saudino and staff members was provided to WNYC by a source who was in the room. It also included an admission by Saudino that he broke a “rule” involving corrections officers. He also inquired about whether New Jersey’s unmarried Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver is gay.