AG Grewal Addresses Opioids, Hate Crimes and Clergy Abuse
Steve Adubato is joined by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to discuss the state’s new police resiliency program, the opioid crisis, the clergy abuse task force, the rise of hate crimes and the Attorney General's multiple lawsuits against the federal government.
"Welcome to Think Tank. I'm Steve Adubato. We are honored to have the Attorney General of the great state of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal. Good to have you with us. Great to be back with you Steve. You've been on our other... our sister program, State of Affairs. Think Tank has a more national focus. I'm gonna ask you something right out of the box. Sure. You were on... when I say "our"... our partners here at NJTV News, just the other night, you were at a forum that was held dealing with hate. Hate crimes. The increase of people who are involved in hate groups. How bad is, dare I simply call it Attorney General, the hate problem in our society? It's bad, Steve. You know, if we look at data, and I'm a big believer in tracking this by the data, if we go back to 2017, we had about 549 reported incidents of bias and hate in the state. If we go to 2018, that number goes to 569. So a slight bump. But that's up from prior years. If we look, year to date, this year, we're over 700 incidents of bias and hate reported to law enforcement. But that's not even the most troubling trend. I mean that spike is troubling. But the biggest problem that I'm seeing is the uptick in youth bias incidents. Youth? Youth. Why do you think that is? I don't know the answer to that. I think it's... part of it is the climate that we're living in. I think the tone that's set at the top really has unleashed a lot of this. And normalized... The top of what? The top of government, Steve. Why don't we deal with it? So... Okay, let's put it on the table. Yeah. I mean, you know, when you have people at the highest echelons of power, when you have the president bullying people, when you have him engaging and dehumanizing people, I think it gives a license to others to do the same thing, and kids pick up on that. But, you know, Attorney General, there are a lot of people watching, there are a significant number of people watching, saying, "What are you talking about? The president just says what he thinks. He's not bullying people. He's not being mean-spirited to people. It's... you know." And a lot of folks in Jersey, or some, will say, "Come on! In Jersey, that's the way we are." You don't see it that way? I don't. Because I think it normalizes behavior. I think words, that comments, do lead to conduct. And I think what was once relegated to the dark corner of the Internet is now in our public squares. I never..."