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Township Councilman Wright Makes Emotional Plea For End To Gun Violence

Township Councilman Carl Wright made emotional comments about gun violence at the September 22 virtual Township Council meeting.

Saying that township youth are being killed for “stupid” reasons, Township Councilman Carl Wright on September 22 made a plea for an end to the violence.

Wright (D-Ward 4), who made his statement during the Township Council’s “Council Member comment” period, was clearly affected by the weekend memorial at Castleton Park for Lionel Macauley, a township man shot to death at a New Brunswick birthday party earlier this month.

A homeowner’s video camera shows four men jumping out of a car on Delafield Street in New Brunswick early in the morning of September 13 and running to the house at which the party was held, firing handguns as they went. Macauley and another man with township ties, Anthony Robinson, were killed in the shooting, while seven people were wounded.

Authorities have not released a motive for the shooting, but friends of the men say the attack was spurred when at least one of the four shooters was denied entry to the party earlier in the evening.

“There comes a point in time when you have to grow up,” Wright said. “Guns don’t solve everything. Violence over stupidity. Gang violence over stupidity.”

Acknowledging the protest marches against police brutality that have occurred in the township and across the country, Wright asked, “where are the marches, the protest over what we do to ourselves? Where’s the change that we are asking for?

No one could have stopped the killing of Macauley and Robinson because “it was a random act of violence,” Wright said. “No one could stop it. So when people ask me, Carl, where are the police? Do we have enough? And I say, yeah, we have enough. But they can’t be everywhere. Do you want a policeman on every corner? Then they tell you no because it’s in your business. What do you want?”

Wright said that calls for jobs to solve the problem isn’t the total solution.

“That’s an answer to half the problem,” he said. “The other half, ‘I can’t work for what you pay me.’ I hear that all the time.”

“The township has many jobs that pay good wages and require no education,” he said. “There are jobs everywhere. The only question you have to answer, is are you willing to start from the bottom and work your way up? If you’re not willing to do that, don’t holler about jobs because it’s an old, tired refrain.”

Wright, who is a funeral director in northern New Jersey, also spoke about a recent funeral he officiated in Newark.

The young man who had died was buried in his gang’s colors, Wright said.

At one point, a limousine pulled up to the church, and the dead man’s mother emerged, also wearing gang colors, he said.

“I missed something, it took someone else to tap me and say look,” he said. “This boy couldn’t have been no older than 3- or 4-years-old. What did he have on? Gang colors. So from 3- or 4-years-old, he’s going to go up in that gang. He has been indoctrinated in that gang.”

“That’s bad news to me,” Wright said.

Commenting on Wright’s statement, Mayor Phil Kramer said, “Those are the best council comments you’ve ever had, maybe that we’ve ever had.”

Also complimenting Wright on his statement, Township Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1) said the people who “need to hear it are probably not watching. We have to figure out a way to reach these people.”

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