New Book on How Modern Racial Profiling Began to be Released Friday, September 17th

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A new book on racial profiling from the Investigative Reporter who first exposed the stories of profiling on the New Jersey Turnpike. Award-winning, former WWOR-TV reporter Joseph Collum chronicles the true story of racial profiling that became a nation-wide scandal, and the long battle to bring it to light.

The Black Dragon: Racial Profiling Exposed

"Collum has written a definitive history of a sad chapter in American law enforcement. But while the subject is serious, Collum's fast-paced and engaging style fashions a compelling read." Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security.

The Black Dragon: Racial Profiling Exposed is the true story of the American scandal known as racial profiling, how it began and the long battle to bring it to light. The Black Dragon, published by Jigsaw Press, is written by award-winning investigative reporter Joseph Collum, who the Oxford English Dictionary credits with coining the term “racial profiling.”

Collum’s original television news expose´ revealed how the New Jersey State Police – in their zeal to fight the War on Drugs – set up a dragnet on the New Jersey Turnpike, aka The Black Dragon, which targeted tens of thousands of black and minority motorists. As America’s most traveled highway, during the last decades of the 20th Century the Turnpike became the nation’s pre-eminent symbol of racism.

The Black Dragon details:

  •     How modern racial profiling was developed by New Jersey State Troopers.
  •     How an internal war raged between black and white NJ troopers over profiling.
  •     How troopers taught the technique to police around the United States.
  •     How top NJ law enforcement officials covered-up profiling for over a decade.
  •     How the cover-up led to the bloody shooting of four minority students.
  •     How profiling was finally exposed by the press, civil rights attorneys, and political leaders.
  •     The 2001 NJ Senate hearings into profiling led by Michael Chertoff led to calls for the impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice.

“The Black Dragon is truly an epic saga filled with heroes and villains and all of the raw emotions that race evokes in America,” says Collum. “In light of the heat surrounding the debate over immigration and terrorism today, it is vital to understand how racial profiling came to be and its affect on our national character.”

The Black Dragon revolves around a potpourri of fascinating personalities, including:

  •     The Black Radicals: a small cadre of young, black Troopers who joined what they thought was the finest law enforcement agency in America, only to find themselves in a civil war against their own organization.
  •     The Narco Avenger: Col. Clinton Pagano, feared State Police commander known as the “J. Edgar Hoover of New Jersey,” who prodded his troopers to become anti-drug gladiators, but with little regard for civil liberties.
  •     Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. and his Dream Team: helped force New Jersey to admit racial profiling and, in the process, collected $13 million from the state.
  •     Michael Chertoff: the former federal mob prosecutor and future head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who led the investigation which finally exposed the racial profiling cover-up.
  •     Christine Todd Whitman, NJ Governor who finally admitted racial profiling was “real, not imagined.”
  •     Peter Verniero, the young, politically-connected Attorney General and NJ Supreme Court Justice whose cover-up of racial profiling was exposed in The Black Dragon’s dramatic climactic scene.

Early buzz of “The Black Dragon” is in:

"Collum delivers an excellent and essential cautionary tale,” says Peter Neufeld, Co-Founder of The Innocence Project,” all the more poignant in the post-Obama world in which folks tend to let down their guard."

“Joseph Collum has made a major contribution to the protection and advancement of civil rights,” said Frank Askin, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School. “The Black Dragon is an encyclopedic, passionate and much needed account of the 40 year struggle to end racial profiling.”

The Black Dragon will be available September 17, 2010 – Constitution Day – at barnesandnobel.com and amazon.com. The book, to be published in hardcover, will retail for $26.99.

If you would like more information, to receive a copy of The Black Dragon or book an interview with Joseph Collum or other key characters in the book, contact Stephanie Christopulos at Stephanie.christopulos@gmail.com or by telephone at 917-656-5166. Visit http://www.josephcollum.com

Joseph Collum has been the recipient of more than 100 major journalism awards during his career as an investigative reporter, including the DuPont-Columbia Award, two George Polk Awards, and five Investigative Reporters & Editors Awards. He was the first reporter in America to expose the widespread practice of racial profiling (the Oxford English Dictionary credits him with coining the term "racial profiling"). His final assignment was at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 and the days immediately following the collapse of the World Trade Towers. His account of the tragedy is excerpted in the book, Covering Catastrophe. Collum's novel Brady's Run was published in 2009 and is currently available at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.

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Stephanie Christopulos

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