Police & Fire

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

e7f23305d674523a7b5d_24700c392a1815008c06_IMG_0927.JPG
Activists lay on the sidewalk outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office during a "die-in" to demand changes to gun control. Credits: Kate Brochu
5dcb744e1f3fb21ff078_IMG_1765.jpg
Activists lay on floor inside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office during a "die-in" to demand changes to gun control laws. Credits: Kate Brochu
6f4d9c0f58f8d03ef0a2_IMG_0933.JPG
Local high school students gather outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office on Tuesday to stage a die-in for gun control. Credits: Kate Brochu
2566cc85b3cf1cc6d07b_IMG_0932.JPG
Protesters gather outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office on Tuesday to demand changes to gun control. Credits: Kate Brochu
86bfe7cb050a6ad9c221_957ff247e8d8b7b8a4e2_IMG_0930.JPG
Local students stage a "die-in" outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office on Tuesday. Credits: Kate Brochu
17d7411c0bfb1e99ccb2_3ba6b338b36d3117230c_IMG_0929.JPG
Activists, parents, and students staged a "die-in" at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office on Tuesday to demand changes to gun control. Credits: Kate Brochu
9cdcae80cc90e0a13f28_0e84b3bffb75674aca57_IMG_0920.JPG
Approximately 30 activists joined a "die-in" on Tuesday outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office to support gun law reform. Credits: Kate Brochu
8e99043689e5faff3de9_5cc3cc5f3981c3d2f911_IMG_0913.JPG
Activists chant and sing outside of Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office on Tuesday during a student-lead "die in." Credits: Kate Brochu
bcfaeff5276a198f16e0_45837177044f5472ed0e_IMG_0906.JPG
Protestors gather outside of the Westfield Police Department where 17-year-old Ben Schachter was being held briefly before being released to his mother. Credits: Kate Brochu
e7f23305d674523a7b5d_24700c392a1815008c06_IMG_0927.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

“We are organizing this ‘die-in’ at Congressman Lance’s office to get him to sign the resolution to pass HR 4240 to the House out of committee, which is the issue we’re facing right now,” said event organizer and Westfield High School sophomore Colin Sumner. “We are looking for him to do that so our lives can be better protected and it can be a safer day in New Jersey and this country.”

Lance is a cosponsor of the bill, which was first introduced on Nov. 3, 2017. The bill is designed to protect Second Amendment rights and to ensure that individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Sign Up for E-News

About 30 activists were at Tuesday’s event, with the majority of participants staging the die-in on the sidewalk outside Congressman Lance’s office. Ten were permitted to demonstrate inside the office on East Broad Street.

The office, which is typically open until 5 p.m., allowed the activists to stay inside the building until 6 p.m. Staff members told the activists that the lights would be turned off and the office alarm system would be activated at that time.

When the majority of protesters inside Congressman Lance’s office left at 6 p.m., Schachter refused to leave.

“He made his choice and I am proud of him,” said his mother, Pam Schachter. “I’m incredibly proud of his caring choice to be here to use his voice for the safety of himself and other students and his willingness to take the risk by laying down in Lance’s office.”

“We have been nothing but gracious,” said Congressman Lance’s Chief of Staff Todd Mitchell, who explained that the staff was following standard procedure by closing and securing the office. “He can stay if he wants but the alarm must go on,” he said, adding that the Congressman’s office was not responsible for calling police and that, instead, it was property management’s decision.

Local activist Stacey Gregg questioned Mitchell’s judgment to leave Schachter inside the secured business and asked if the Congressman was made aware of the decision to close the office for the evening.

“He put it in your hands to manage the office and to do such a thing as to turn the lights off,” Gregg asked.  

“He was asked to leave, he chose not to leave. I don’t think the lights being off are going to traumatize the child,” said Mitchell.

Shortly after 6 p.m., Westfield Police entered the office and arrested Schachter without incident. Schachter was taken to Westfield Police Department where he was released to his mother. Because he is a minor, no bail was required.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Plainfield Woman Admits to Animal Cruelty    

June 23, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ — A Plainfield resident has admitted responsibility for neglect that resulted in the deaths of multiple puppies, according to both the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Suzie Bourdouvales, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree animal cruelty earlier this week before state Superior ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on June 19

June 22, 2018

I opened the Board meeting on a somber note, announcing the death of sophomore student Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel.  Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over his death.  We extend our condolences to the Uziel family.  I noted that school counselors are available for all students or staff who may wish to discuss their feelings ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ba23f8d0d41677854e89_spb-4937_newsletter_june_26

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Carousel_image_5b249c4a7e6808d9d7bb_spb-4937_newsletter_june_27

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Carousel_image_295f5001319d0d50ecf4_spb-4937_newsletter_june_28

Thu, June 28, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.

 

June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Class of 2018 Graduates at Commencement

June 24, 2018

Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison held its 135th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 8 under a giant tent on the back athletic fields.

The Class of 2018 marched in, led by valedictorian and class president Suraj Chandran of Edison and vice president Cathy Bi of Edison carrying the class flag. The program began with the Star-Spangled Banner and a welcome from Dr. Bob Bowman of Scotch Plains, ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*

 

TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more