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2 Sep 2023

NextImg:Body Cam Footage Exposes School Officials Calling Police on 'Trumpish' Board Meeting Attendees

Body cam footage obtained by investigative journalist James O’Keefe shows police working with New Jersey school officials who had complained about “Trumpish” citizens at a board meeting.

O’Keefe, CEO of the O’Keefe Media Group and the former face of Project Veritas, explained in a video that he and a few OMG associates had attended and secretly recorded the Aug. 8 meeting.

Livingston Public Schools officials called the police during the meeting because they didn’t recognize the men and thought they looked “a little scary.”

The body cam footage obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request begins with LPS official Susan Burman telling the responding officer that the group was presumably there to contest a new “equity law” and LGBT curriculum.

She acknowledged that the group had not given them any trouble.

“There’s about eight of them, and none of [our administrators] recognize them as past students,” LPS official Toni McLaughlin told the officer.

“They’re not parents. They’re different-looking. Some — they look Trumpish. They just — they look a little scary. They just look — they don’t look like Livingston.”

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McLaughlin then said she had learned the men were with the O’Keefe Media Group.

The officer, identified only by his last name, Pancione, suggested that the group might be like antifa, or “something along those lines,” to which McLaughlin agreed.

Later, Burman happily volunteered to take video of the license plates on cars in the parking lot so Pancione could scan them.

After O’Keefe and his associates left the building, Pancione went outside to ensure that they were leaving the premises.

There, O’Keefe asked who had called the police and identified himself as a journalist. Pancione responded by stating that he didn’t know who had called the police.

He then went back inside and began bad-mouthing O’Keefe, calling him a “rabble-rouser” and saying he should “get a life.”

“Why are you going to interrupt a local small little town when you can go to the higher authority?” Pancione asked, saying that if O’Keefe is concerned he should go to the governor or the state board of education.

“Worry about your own town, your own county. You’re gonna come here and cause a disruption — not a disruption, but — I could care less you’re a journalist. I’m not here to answer your questions,” he said, later adding, “I don’t answer to him.”

“Technically, do they have a right to do this?” he asked McLaughlin and Burman, with McLaughlin claiming that they don’t. “You have to be a Livingston resident” or have some kind of connection to the town to attend school board meetings, she said.

In his video, O’Keefe pointed out that New Jersey state law “ensures the public can attend all school board meetings in the state regardless of where you live.”

O’Keefe has also spoken with Livingston Police Capt. Thomas Smith, who in an email to O’Keefe said Pancione’s conversation with the school board officials “will be reviewed for deficiencies and if deemed necessary, will be addressed via the Internal Affairs process.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.