When I last wrote about the Salem County Sheriff race some supporters of Bob Gant were mad at me. I still don’t understand how people could be mad that I believe that a lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Department who wants to be sheriff might actually go to work. That anger led me to do some digging, even my co-host Bob drove an hour to run down a lead for me. Thanks Bob!
While digging, we found a Facebook post by a guy named Walter Hudson. Granted, the guy doesn’t appear to like cops very much, but Hudson’s post made me dig because “where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Hudson wrote in part:
“Over the years Gant have not been fair to black people. We know how abusive Gant was and still is to black inmates when the jail was in Salem City? We not going to act like Gant didn’t beat the hell out of Bunny Mills. In fact, he was fired, but hired back on the force.”
It got me thinking, who is Bunny Mills? It turns out his name is Bunyan Mills, he no longer lives in New Jersey, he works as a union electrician, coaches youth football and has a kid in college. Even better, I was able to track down a phone number for Mr. Mills and he answered on the third ring. I spent 29 minutes and 26 seconds on the phone with him last night.
Mills is a nice guy who acknowledges he did something wrong when he was very young, it had to do with drugs if you must know. Mills told me that mistake set him on the straight and narrow.
I asked Mills if the rumor that Gant assaulted him in the Salem County Jail was true, the answer was an immediate yes.
I explained to Mills that I understood this might be difficult to talk about and he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to and he quickly agreed to give me details.
Mills explained he was in the holding cell with “a lot of other guys” and there was an elderly man by the last name Parsons, now deceased. Apparently, Parsons was ill and Mills called for a Corrections Officer (CO). Mills said, “The CO brushed me off” and admits, “I had some choice words,” for the CO brushing him off.
Mills explained that as inmates were being transferred to cells or “the pods,” he was one of the last ones to get the paperwork done. He explained the process of how inmates turn around with their backs facing COs to be handcuffed.
Mills went on, “When they came out to get me I knew something wasn’t right because usually it’s one CO, two came to get me. I was escorted by two, one on the left, one on the right and when I entered the room I saw Gant and another CO had their shirts off and I was greeted with Gant’s nightstick and when I came to I was in solitary confinement.”
Gant, and his supporters have, publicly denied this happened. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends who are lawyers, call it an occupational hazard. What that means is I have access to, well friends with access to all kinds of legal records. And that means I can find the truth! Don’t believe me, I was once charged criminally for releasing expunged records that somehow ended up on my doorstep, fortunately I didn’t know the records were expunged and the case was dismissed. My point, the story was true and I told it.
So, if you still doubt Gant beat a handcuffed, defenseless man unconscious with a weapon I do know Salem County imposed major discipline and terminated Gant's employment. I know because he appealed to the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (Docket No.: CSV5577-91) and lost. I know he lost because Gant appealed to the Appellate Division, N.J. Superior Court (Docket No.: A-4025-91 T2).
I’m assuming the County got tired of the constant appeals and obviously rehired Gant as a Sheriff's Officer and not a Corrections Officer. There must be a reason why Gant only does courthouse security, serves warrants, writs and court process. Is it possible they think he can’t be trusted around handcuffed, defenseless inmates?
I’m going to continue digging into candidate Gant for the memory of my stepfather who was a good, dedicated cop and for all the good cops still on the job because guys like Gant, who are willing to beat defenseless men unconscious, are the ones who create cop haters like Walter Hudson and make life difficult for every good cop out there.
And, as a special bonus to this post, Bunyan Mills has agreed to call in to The Bob & Steve Show at 8:10AM tomorrow and tell his story.