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Carolyn Adams , 39
New Brunswick, New Jersey
September 10, 1996

Agencies: New Brunswick Police Department New Jersey

Last updated: 9 months ago

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The family of a black woman who was fatally shot by a white police officer is challenging the officer's eligibility to receive a pension.

James Consalvo, a former New Brunswick police officer, has been receiving $37,000 a year since he retired in April 1997.

On Sept. 10, 1996, he tried to arrest Carolyn Adams of New Brunswick on prostitution charges. The police said Ms. Adams, 39, bit Officer Consalvo's finger and refused to let go.

Officer Consalvo, said he feared for his life, and shot Ms. Adams once in the heart.

A state grand jury did not indict him, but Ms. Adams's family said that the shooting was racially motivated.

Patrick Whelan, a lawyer for the family, sent a letter to the State Attorney General asking that the pension be erased and the criminal investigation into the shooting be reopened.

He accused the city and county of failing to thoroughly investigate the shooting.

Officer Consalvo, then 29, resigned in 1997. He is working as a real estate agent.

Officer Consalvo retired on accidental disability. State Treasury Department officials said a pension can be forfeited only if a public employee is convicted of a crime or official misconduct.

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