'Neo-Nazi' Ex-FDU Professor Claims Police Abuse

Ridgewood police, New Jersey state troopers named in federal lawsuit

A former Fairleigh Dickinson University professor linked to a neo-Nazi group has filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging he and his wife were victims of police brutality during a 2011 raid of his Ridgewood apartment. 

Jacques Pluss, an ex-adjunct history and politics professor at FDU's Teaneck campus, claimed in the suit that state troopers and Ridgewood police burned him with a cigarette, dragged him, and threw him into a pile of ice and snow during his arrest for threats authorities say he made against an Anti-Defamation League official. 

Then-girlfriend Jessica Stephens, who has since married Pluss, was "thrown into the cement walkway to be tightly zip tied and handcuffed which caused injury to her wrists and shoulders," the lawsuit claims. 

Their attorney, Carlstadt-based William J. Rush, said Pluss' injuries have healed, but Stephens suffered from anxiety following the raid. 

The village of Ridgewood, Ridgewood Police, the New Jersey State Police and unidentified troopers and officers are among those named as defendants in the Jan. 24 suit. 

Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward said he could not comment on pending litigation. State Attorney General's Office spokesman Lee Moore said the office had no comment on the lawsuit. 

Authorities executed a search warrant at Pluss' apartment after he sent multiple threatening e-mails to the Anti-Defamation League's director in New York, state police said at the time. A computer search revealed Pluss frequented Nazi websites. 

He was charged with bias intimidation, harassment, contempt of court and weapons offenses. Police said the raid also turned up several rifles, which a prior court order had barred him from possessing. 

Court records show Pluss later pleaded guilty to a lesser weapons charge and he was given probation. 

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Pluss has a "long history of racist diatribes." 

He has said blacks are "not human" and called for them to be killed after forced labor, according to the center's Hatewatch website. He also reportedly labeled Jews “the most insidious sub-human enemy of Western Civilization itself."

FDU fired Pluss in 2005, citing a string of work absences. Pluss, however, said he was axed because of his involvement with the National Socialist Movement, one of the country's largest neo-Nazi groups

He called the school a “Jewish plutocratic university,” according to the report. 

Pluss has offered varying explanations for his admitted membership in the white supremacist movement, reports say. He first claimed to have joined only to research for a book, but later reportedly said he was a proud neo-Nazi. 

The former professor, now living in Warren County, could not be reached for comment. 

Rush, his attorney, said Pluss is not currently associated with any organizated neo-Nazi groups.

"Dr. Pluss has his own independent views that are not mainstream," he said.  

Pluss and Stephens are seeking unspecified damages and attorney fees. 

jp1 February 22, 2013 at 12:52 AM
They should have shot him.
John Hahn February 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM
jp1, I can tell from your comment you are a loving, compassionate human being. If what he is charged with is true I detest his views and actions. But I believe in the innocent until proven guilty idea. This man should be held accountable for his actions. If the officers who arrested him did any of the things he alleges, they too should be held accountable. I hope they never come for you, jp1.
thetentman February 22, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Perhaps a FAIR trial and then they could hang him.
Michael Sedon February 22, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I hate Ridgewood Nazis.
Rene February 22, 2013 at 04:43 PM
sounds like a real peach of a guy. he will get his day in court, and the taxpayers will have to pay for the defense of the police, and we will see. I agree with John, that everyone is due a fair trial, but somehow this doesn't pass the stink test to me. He was arrested in 2011, and he files the charges NOW? Again, doesn't pass the stink test to me.
News Man February 22, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Does he have a case or not, that is the question. Obviously his attorney thinks so...so be patient, it will be sorted out by a Judge when a motion for dismissal is made by the defendants. (rule 1:62) I believe. In any event make sure the reporters are there on Motion Day and here some good arguments by some talented attys, that need the practice and the money. Fun to watch.
News Man February 22, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Relax Mike, you won't be selected for Jury Duty.
jp1 February 22, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Spur of the moment thought,did not have my morning coffee.
Raul February 22, 2013 at 08:42 PM
It sounds like the attorney filed a cognizable claim, and shouldn't be dismissed on its face. If police abused him while executing a search warrant, then the professor should be allowed to sue. Even people with despicable opinions should be safe from police abuse. The question is whether any believable evidence supports the professor's claim. It won't be lawyers being artful and talented that carry the day, it should be witnesses that are credible or not that will determine the outcome.
John Q. February 23, 2013 at 02:31 PM
How ironic. The Neo-Nazi gets to sue the police that arrest him. If he were arrested in Nazi Germany he would have faced a firing squad in the street......if he even made it that far. His attorney must have some practice.......really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
Barbara Steuert February 23, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Headlines always say FDU Professor. He was only a part time adjunct at FDU. Before that, he was a full time professor at WPU.
John Hahn February 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Rene. Yes is stinks. But that is the beauty of our system. People we despise have rights too. It is annoying and frustrating. But as the saying goes It beats all the other systems out there. The fact that we can comment on stuff like this is the good part of the system. Hold your nose. There are worse creeps amongst us.
Flood Plain February 24, 2013 at 09:41 PM
There seems to be just enough evidence that the allegations against the popo could be valid. If so, this guy could collect a lot of taxpayer funds, and, IF accurate, more than a few troopers and local popo thugs could find themselves paying out of their own pockets for conduct beyond the scope of their policies and training.
tom farley February 25, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Best comment ever on patch. Blues Brothers rule.
Brian February 25, 2013 at 04:21 PM
There is a 0% chance this case goes to trial. It will be settled by the Village's insurance carrier for something like $15k. Village will pay any portion that is self insured or deductible. Sorry Perry Mason fans but it is highly unlikely the cops will even get deposed on this one. The original charges against the guy didn't even hold up. They found guns a court said he couldn't have and brought charges of "bias intimidation, harassment, contempt of court and weapons offense." All of these were dismissed for a plea for probation on a lesser weapons charge.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 25, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Obama is coming to bail him out, then Obama will straighten this guy out by telling him not to call himself a Neo Nazi but a "democrat" and not to persecute the Jews but start persecuting the "Rich".
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 25, 2013 at 08:15 PM
National Socialist movement? Doesn't the describe Obama and friends to a "T". I am confused.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Not so fast John Q. There is the NDAA Act out, in the future when the government learns how to use that new power, there will be street executions. the first one just happened with the Dorner case. It was a warm up.
Wood February 28, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Did anyone read that he plead guilty and is now costing taxpayers more money with a frivolous lawsuit.


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