Listen to audio version of this article
Laura Seals, widow of slain Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals, this afternoon received a standing ovation from a joint congregation of the New Jersey Legislature at the urging of Governor Phil Murphy as he prepared to deliver his State of the State.
“Five weeks ago, today, our state was shattered by the gunfire of anti-Semitism and hate,” said the Governor.
“In Jersey City, a heralded police detective – Joseph Seals – and three innocent people – Mindy Ferencz, Moshe Deutsch, and Douglas Miguel Rodriguez – were murdered in what we now know was an act of domestic terror fueled by a vicious and unjustifiable hate.
“This was an act of hate against the Jewish community and law enforcement, but it impacted everyone. Hundreds of schoolchildren and their educators were held in lockdown, including in a Catholic school across the street. Worried parents feared the worst. African-American residents hid in their basements.
Without the tremendous response of everyone in law enforcement, I shudder to think how much worse that day could have been for Jersey City and for our state. If ever there was a time for us to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, it was that day.
“We have several honored guests with us today. And, through them, we have the opportunity to give our thanks to our entire law enforcement community for their heroism, selflessness, sacrifice, and service on one of our most-trying days.
“I would like to ask Laura Seals, the widow of Detective Joe Seals, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly, Deputy Chief of Police Nick Scerbo, and Detective Robert Dunn to all stand.”
Mrs. Seals stood and received the sustained applause of the chamber.