A NJ Transit crewman was suspended without pay Monday after announcing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security agents were on his morning rush-hour train to New York, the transit agency said.
NJ Transit said the announcement on the 6:54 a.m. train from Bay Head was false. But it prompted a small storm on social media, with many saying such an action was unlawful and un-American, while others criticized the crewman for compromising a law-enforcement operation.
The conductor on my @NJTRANSIT train just made an announcement that there are ICE agents and homeland security on the train – so I guess we need to be protected from hardworking people on their way to work in the morning? @ACLUNJ @ACLU
— rory katharine (@TelltaleShart) March 5, 2018
A tweet from a rider reporting the announcement caught the eye of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. If the action were true, the New Jersey Democrat said, it amounted to “outrageous racial profiling.”
If true, this would be outrageous racial profiling that is unAmerican and makes us less safe. Thank you Katherine for bringing this to our attention, and I assure you my office is looking into it, and will follow up as well. https://t.co/bduvDFptRU
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) March 5, 2018
NJ Transit said the crew member, a 30-year veteran whose name was not released, had been immediately suspended without pay pending an investigation.
“NJT will not tolerate such reprehensible conduct, which stands in direct contrast with our agency’s culture,” the agency wrote on Twitter.
NJ TRANSIT has taken swift action by immediately suspending, without pay, the crew member who made the alleged train announcement pending the outcome of full investigation. NJT will not tolerate such reprehensible conduct which stands in direct contrast with our agency’s culture.
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) March 5, 2018
Nancy Snyder, spokeswoman for the agency, said the announcement was false.