A new video from James O’Keefe’s O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) has revealed New Jersey school board members working with local police to remove citizens from a board meeting that looked “Trumpish,” with officers scanning the license plates of these citizens.
In one call from August 8 to Livingston Police, Starr Preston said there was a group of around nine men that the board didn’t recognize.
“There’s people that aren’t your usual board watchers, right?” one man asked. “It’s new faces that you’ve never seen before.”
“They just look — they don’t look like Livingston,” said executive assistant Toni McLaughlin to Officer Pancione.
“They apparently forgot that the body camera was recording over 40 minutes of conversation back and forth as they compare O’Keefe Media Group citizen journalists to Antifa,” O’Keefe said.
Officer Pancione asked McLaughlin if they were part of some group, like Antifa, to which McLaughlin replied, “That’s exactly what we’re thinking, maybe they’re going to all different board meetings, I’m not sure, so I just thought it’d be safe and I call you.”
O’Keefe confronted McLaughlin, saying, “you did call the police on us. We have body cam footage of you. This is you on the police footage. You said there’s some ‘Trumpish people.'”
McLaughlin said in the body cam footage that “they’re different looking. They’re Trumpish.”
“What did you mean by ‘Trumpish’ at the school board meeting?” O’Keefe asked.
McLaughlin said she didn’t have any comment.
“You’ve commented quite a bit. There’s 45 minutes of video from the police officers here in Livingston of you saying that you are ‘intimidated’ by citizens showing up a school board meeting asking questions,” O’Keefe responded, with the video cutting to McLaughlin talking about the attendees.
“What is intimidating about citizens showing up at a school board meeting talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion?”
McLaughlin said she didn’t know what the citizens were going to talk about at the meeting, and that usually people aren’t commenting on things that are not on the agenda.
“So why did you call the police?” O’Keefe asked, to which McLaughlin said she was directed to.
Outside the school board meeting on August 8, OMG got footage of Pancione saying that his supervisor directed him to go to the meeting.
One of the OMG members said that they were a journalist, to which Pancione replied, “ok, very good.”
Inside though, body cam footage captured Pancione saying, “I could care less.”
“Worry about your own town, your own county, what’s the — you got to come here and cause a disruption, not disruption, but you’re — I could care less. You’re a journalist. I’m not here to answer your questions. I don’t answer to him. He can be a journalist, he can do all he wants to do. I mean, technically, do have to be — do they have a right to do this?”
“Technically, no, you have to be a Livingston resident,” replied McLaughlin.
Pancione said that “we shouldn’t be needed for something like this,” adding that “I think it’s more intimidation.”
The group began discussing OMG, saying that they were “rabble-rousers.”
“So if this guy has an issue with what you guys are doing, as a question,” Pancione said, adding that if there was still an issue to go up the chain to the state level.
“Why are you going to interrupt a local small little town?”
O’Keefe said the officer’s camera was still recording, “but apparently forgets that he is wearing it because it captures his blase and mini tyrannical side, saying he doesn’t answer to citizens. He doesn’t answer to citizen journalists. Obviously, the police officer does indeed exist to serve and protect the citizens and has to answer to citizens.”
In regards to the two questioning whether OMG reporters had the right to appear at the meeting, O’Keefe said that New Jersey’s state laws allow the public to attend all school board meetings regardless of the state they live in.
“So this officer is ignorant of the law.”
Suzanne Berman, an official in the human resources department, was “giddy” about scanning the license plates of those in attendance, taking video of all the cars in the lot to which Pancione said they could scan the license plates O’Keefe said.
“I think they found one car with a plate from Massachusetts and they use that as apparently again the probable cause to become suspicious,” O’Keefe said.
With the group discussing OMG in private, O’Keefe said “You can see the fear, the trepidation, the anxiety in the faces of the school board officials as they read word by word, the mission and the charter for the O’Keefe Academy which is training 1000s of citizen journalists on how to do what we’re doing right now.”
O’Keefe spoke at this school board meeting, exposing the company that had been contracted to do an equity audit called a2z.
During the meeting, the board president cut O’Keefe off with two minutes remaining, stating that he could continue when the recording stopped. O’Keefe said that state law allowed recording, to which the board president said that the meeting rules needed to be followed.
O’Keefe walked over to what looked like a phone, McLaughlin said, and revealed that the whole meeting had been recorded, “and I’m going to reveal my hidden camera footage to your entire school district, all of your parents.”
“Now after the board meeting ends, we walk through the vestibule past officer Pancione, you can see us walking through one by one. Now, there’s actually an Asian American on our team. And this leads one of the officials to say, well, there is some ‘variety on the O’Keefe Media Group team,'” O’Keefe said.
Pancione was recorded saying, “What are they? I mean, what do they look like? Are they young, old? Black, white, Hispanic?”
Preston, on the phone call to police, said “they’re mostly white, but there’s a variety.”
O’Keefe, confronting McLaughlin, asked why she called the police on journalists, to which she repeated that she was directed to do so.