🔵 Video shows councilwoman arguing with neighbor

🔵 It appears she called him a "Jew"

🔵 She refuses to resign

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A councilwoman in Ocean County is facing calls to resign from residents and the mayor in response to a video that appears to show her calling her neighbor a Jew.

Video from the Feb. 27 incident shows Rosa Crowley, the council president for Point Pleasant Beach, arguing with her neighbor who is Jewish.

It shows Crowley making a comment, to which her neighbor responded, "What'd you just say? Jew?"

A police report from the incident said that a police officer reviewed the footage. The officer concluded that Crowley had said the Spanish word for Jew, which is "judio."

(YouTube screengrab)
(YouTube screengrab)

The exchange was also reviewed by an assistant prosecutor with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. The OCPO Bias Crime Unit reviewed the footage and determined the incident was a bias incident "but did not rise to the level of a bias crime," according to the police report.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office did not respond to a request for comment.

"Unbecoming of a human being"

Mayor Doug Vitale called on Crowley to resign at a March 5 council meeting. Vitale said he was unable to remove her from her position. Both Vitale and Crowley are Republicans.

"Councilwoman Crowley your behavior is unbecoming of a human being, a councilwoman, and especially the council president. I am formally going on record right now to ask you to resign from this council tonight," Vitale said.

(Mayor Doug Vitale via Facebook)
(Mayor Doug Vitale via Facebook)

"Absolutely not. And you're a disgrace for doing this," Crowley said.

A Change.org petition calling for Crowley's resignation gained over 50 signatures as of late Thursday afternoon.

Councilwoman denies calling neighbor a Jew

Crowley responded to the video at the same meeting. She said the claims against her were "false allegations" and a "political attack."

"I would like to clear that I made no racial comment to my neighbor. This is a defamatory accusation being made against me," said Crowley.

(Point Pleasant Beach Republicans For Change via Facebook)
(Point Pleasant Beach Republicans For Change via Facebook)

Crowley said in an email to New Jersey 101.5 that she is a Spaniard who speaks Castilian Spanish and that the police officer who translated possibly speaks a different dialect. She said that she used the word "you" and not "Jew."

"I have many Jewish friends and wholeheartedly respect all humans. I am an active Roman Catholic and respect all," Crowley said.

Crowley also said that her neighbor had been repeatedly harassing her and that she had faced harassment from the mayor as well.

Standing up to bigotry

One resident also took a passionate stand calling for Crowley to resign or be removed.

"This is not about politics. This is far more important than politics. This is about moral responsibility. This is about the courage to stand up and fight against bigotry and hatred in any form as soon as it rears its ugly head," he said.

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