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An Interview with Gloucester City Police Chief Brian Morrell Regarding Black Lives Matter Event


CORRECTION: Tajee Almon (TJ) IS A RESIDENT of Gloucester City and a graduate of Gloucester High. Our information that he was from Sicklerville came from one of his social media pages. TJ said Vanessa Lamb was the organizer of the event and that he was just a helper. ~CNBNews

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (June 6, 2020) (CNBNews)--A Black Lives Matter protest is being held Sunday, June 7 in Gloucester City starting at noon. The demonstrators will

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Brian Morrell
Gloucester City Police Chief

march from the park north on King Street to Monmouth Street, east on Monmouth to the Library Parking lot where it will disburse. The group will stop on Monmouth Street at the Epiphany Church and also at St. Mary's church to say a prayer. 


Today we asked Gloucester City Police Chief Brian Morrell about his department's preparation for the event. 


Question: Do you know who organized the event?  


CHIEF: I had several phone call conversations with Vanessa Lamb. On Wednesday, June 3, I met with her,  Jake Petrik and Tajee Almon (TJ). Since Lamb first contacted me we feel that she is the organizer of it. 


Question: Do you know where the three individuals live. 


CHIEF: Lamb and Petrik I believe live in Gloucester City. Where TJ Almon resides now I don't know but when he was younger he resided in Gloucester City. He also went to Gloucester High but I don't know if he graduated from there. 


Question: Do you need a permit to hold a protest rally in Gloucester City?


CHIEF: Neither I or the city clerk were able to find any ordinance stipulating that a permit was needed to hold a protest rally. 


QUESTION: Did any of the three individuals you met with tell you why they wanted to hold the protest? Are you aware that Almon said there is racial injustice in this community?


CHIEF: Lamb said it was to show support for the family and friends of *George Floyd. I don't know of any racial injustice in this community nor do I know what TJ is talking about. Twenty years or so ago Gloucester City became integrated. We have had no racial problems. From what I have witnessed all the races living here, both the young and old get along. 


Lamb commented on social media that "this event is about EVERYONE VERSUS RACISM. And the change we all want to see begins with our own community. These peaceful protests are popping up all over Camden County. If we didn’t complete one in Gloucester City, what would that say about us? It’s not enough to be silent anymore. We need to be anti-racist."


Almon has been quoted as saying, "Stand for something or fall for anything. Who am I screaming for change around the world when it starts at home? Join me THIS SUNDAY 12 PM and break the chain of racial injustice that exists in this community."


The chief said too that there will only be two officers walking with the protestors. That if needed police from neighboring communities good be here within minutes.

" Just like the mutual agreement for aid that exists between the fire departments in South Jersey,  police departments also have the same type of a contract."  Morrell said he didn't ask any business owner or tavern owner to close their doors during the protest but,  "some owners said they were going to close until it is over just to be safe."


*Note: Both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family have ruled that the death of Floyd was a homicide and the 46-year-old's heart stopped beating while police restrained him and compressed his neck. 

Also, if anyone knows how to contact Vanessa Lamb, Jake Petrik, and Tajee Almon would you ask them to contact us at We would like to ask them some questions. Specifically, what is the racial injustice in Gloucester City that TJ is referring to. 


Related: Black Lives Matters Protest in Gloucester City

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published | June 6, 2020