The City Council of Hackensack, NJ, is pursuing involuntary early retirement for six police officers, all of whom were involved in shootings or fatal accidents.
The council has applied for involuntary disability retirement for the officers, claiming they are all unable to perform their duties. Five of the six applications were approved. The last application was tabled for further discussion.
At Tuesday's council meeting, residents and fellow police officers showed up in force, filling the council chambers to protest and show solidarity.
Elvin Hernandez was the only one of the affected officers to speak at the council meeting. Hernandez, 31, was involved in the 2015 fatal shooting of Elvin Diaz. He made an impassioned plea to the council to vouch for him and the other officers.
"That day changed me," Hernandez said. "And for you guys to be doing this, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I put my life on the line."
Hernandez was involved in the May 2015 fatal shooting of Diaz. Authorities claim that during a probation welfare check, Diaz attacked officers with a meat cleaver. Hernandez, along with Hackensack Police Sgt. Miguel Molina, shot Diaz a total of 10 times, killing him. Hernandez is a distant relative of Diaz's. He shot Diaz once, NorthJersey.com reports.