Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Officers Deemed Unfit

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Officers Deemed Unfit

Article excerpt

HACKENSACK - The City Council is pursuing involuntary early retirement for seven Hackensack police officers, most of whom were involved in shootings and fatal accidents.

The council has applied for involuntary disability retirement for the officers, claiming they are all unable to perform their duties. At the Tuesday council meeting where the seven applications were voted on, residents and fellow police officers showed up in force, filling the council chambers to protest and show solidarity.

Six of the seven applications were approved by the council, with one tabled.

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."

The six officers approved for retirement are McKinley Garvin, John Hermann, Hernandez, Alexander Lopez-Arenas, Keith Marrano and Mohammad Sheikh. The application for Stephen Ochman was tabled.

One of the aspects that unites them is their involvement in shootings and fatal accidents.

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.

Hermann, Lopez-Arenas, Marrano, and Sheikh were involved in the October 2015 shooting of Jose Ronaldo Santos-Alvarez. Santos-Alvarez was wanted in the killings of his girlfriend and son. Officers cornered him in a Clay Street house, and Sheikh shot him once in the abdomen.

Ochman was involved in a fatal car crash last April that killed a Hackensack resident. …

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