Newark Police Department Abuses Dominican Community

The Feeling of The Riots Return to Newark during Dominican Parade

It felt like the Newark Riots with a modern twist during the ending of one of the longest and well attended parades for Dominicans in the city of Newark.  Just before the culmination of this wonderful parade Newark’s Police Department decides that it is going to end the activities and is going to sweep people from the streets utilizing their police cars and sirens. It felt like the crowed had done something terribly wrong. It felt like we of a sudden went from dancing and celebrating our music and our people to maybe protesting for legal rights. People started running and trampling each other to not get run over by a police car.  It was like a Bowling Alley, the police were the ball and the pins were the people.

What era are we living in? How can the administration or whomever was in charge of protecting our residents and those who came from far away, be so insensitive.  When Santiago Paniagua and I (Anibal Alcantara, Jr.) saw the caravan of cars (5 cars wide and 4 cars deep) coming towards the people in the streets, we rushed in towards the cars weaving in and out to find who was in charge, and found the Police Captain in charge, Capt. Robert D. Sbaraglio.  When asked to stop this disrespectful act, he responded that he “was covered”. He said that his “actions were justified”. We asked him why didn’t he come to the stage and ask the President of the Parade, Ms. Ariagna Perello, to send everyone home, he replied “I told someone driving a golf cart that it was time to stop the event”. We asked him, who was that person?  And he replied, “I don’t know”.
We proceeded to ask, if he had a copy of the permit? He said no. We told him that the event had a permit until 9 PM and it was only 6:12 PM. After we showed Capt. Robert D. Sbaraglio the permit, the only words he had for us were: “What do you want me to do?” “What do you want me to do?” Not an am sorry or any kind of apology for the abuse he just committed. We told him that the damage has been done, you riled up the people, and the band got off the stage, the crowed is running away, you tell us what is there to do. He then continued to ask us “what do you want me to do?”

The event was abruptly and rudely stopped three hours short of the time allotted. The irony of it all is that there are currently non-Dominican organizations closing streets on a weekly basis, without permit, and this sort of acts do not occur nor have ever occurred with them.

The Newark Police Department committed a crime against the Dominican community this past Sunday, September 26, 2010.  I have never in my 32 years in the city of Newark have experienced such a disgrace to one community. This is a grave disrespect and over use of police powers that no community should tolerate. If the Newark Police Department gets away with doing this to the Dominican Community it would be just a matter of time before they do it to other communities.

The Dominican Community does not deserve this type of treatment. Dominicans have been migrating to Newark, New Jersey since the 1940’s. They own over 85% of Grocery Stores in the city and over 65% of Liquor Stores in the city, along with other numerous types of businesses, including most of the barber shops and salons. It is a thriving community that contributes tremendously to the welfare of the city of Newark and other large cities in the state.

The Dominican Community deserves and demands a public apology for the behavior of the police department and will not stop until the person or persons responsible are accordingly disciplined.

We ask that anyone who was at the event and have videos or pictures of the Police Caravan, as they caused people to trample one another, forward those to us. Also, if anyone was hurt do to this purely discriminating behavior and action, should also come forward.

Feel free to contact

Anibal Alcantara, Jr, at 973-866-0091, via email at or or

Santiago Paniagua at 973-444-0881, via email