Ray Samuels: A Police Chief and Leader Who Championed Rights For All


Editor’s Note: Ray Samuels, former Newark Police Chief, passed away recently at the age of 58. Aram James, a civil rights organizer and former public defender, found a friend and trusted ally in Samuels through their common campaign against the Tasers, and shares his memories of the man he calls both a friend and inspiration.

First and foremost Ray Samuels was my dear friend—his sudden and unexpected passing has saddened me to the core (Ray died on February 17, 2012.) I think what stands-out most for me about Ray Samuels are his humble qualities – his decency as a human being, his lust for life and learning and his insatiable curiosity about other human beings. Ray always had a desire to be a problem solver, and he had no arrogance or pretense. His routine instinct was always to look out for the other guy first. Continue reading