On December 10, 2019, Jersey City changed. One year ago, on that horrific day, Jersey City was introduced to the grim realities of violence and hatred.
On that tragic December day, two armed assailants, David Nathaniel Anderson and his girlfriend Francine Graham, indoctrinated with the infamous rhetoric of bigotry and anti-Semitism, participated in the slaying of Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals, Mindy Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Moshe Deutsch.
After killing Detective Seals at the Bayview Cemetery, the two fiends made a “last stand” at a Kosher supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive. Once there, they murdered the store owner, Mindy Ferencz; an employee, Douglas Rodriguez; and a rabbinical student, Moshe Deutsch. Anderson and Graham met their fates after an exchange of gunfire with police authorities. Following the shootout, police discovered a pipe bomb in the stolen van used by Anderson and Graham; that explosive device had the capacity to kill or injure innocent by-standers up to 500 yards away.
December 10, 2019 was a day of heroes and villains. Two police officers were wounded in the shoot out. Douglas Rodriguez helped a man escape the Kosher grocery store through a back door; that unselfish act of heroism cost him his life. Detective Seals’ intervention – that encounter with the two evil doers – potentially delayed the nefarious intentions of Anderson and Graham. Some suspect that Anderson and Graham were targeting the yeshiva next to the Kosher market.
Jersey City – the most diverse city in the United States – was not the same after the incident on December 10, 2019. Granted, the Kosher market reopened in March 2020, and life within that community has continued. Yet, that encounter with violence and hatred remains in the minds of every Jersey Cityite – no matter of race, religion, or ethic background.
Hopefully, there will never be another day like December 10, 2019.
Albert J. Cupo and John Di Genio