By LOUISE MARTIN The Associated PressMADISON, N.J. (AP) – The National Guard has deployed to the northern half of New Jersey and its surrounding communities after Gov.
Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in the wake of an ambush in New York that left eight people dead.
The move comes a day after the governor called the ambush a hate crime and pledged that a full investigation would be conducted.
The Guard said in a statement that they will be deployed to communities of concern and will not be using the same tactics used by the New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
“We are here to help and support our fellow citizens,” said a Guard spokesperson.
The New York police department did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
In New Jersey, there are roughly 100,000 National Guard troops stationed in state prisons and on the island of Jersey.
There are also tens of thousands of reservists stationed in New Jersey state prisons.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for state and local law enforcement to work together in the aftermath of the New Yorker attack in an interview with CBS New York on Tuesday night.
He said the New Yorkers attack was racially motivated and targeted because of its perceived racial impact.
Christie said the state is still grappling with the aftermath, saying it is a state with significant challenges, including the opioid crisis.
“What happened in New Yorker was a horrific act of terror,” he said.
“It was an attack on New Jersey.
It was an act of racial hatred and hatred towards the black community.
The attack on this city, in New Orleans, was an assault on the black race.”
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said on Wednesday the ambush occurred as a result of “an unfortunate misunderstanding.”
He said the ambush in the city’s tourist area was likely carried out by a man who had previously been charged with the murder of a police officer and a crime spree.
The suspect had been on parole for murder and robbery when he went to the tourist area, Bratton told reporters.
Police say two of the victims were identified Wednesday as Anthony Johnson, 28, and Nicholas DiCaro, 27.
They were identified by a relative as the nephews of one of the attackers.
The third victim was identified as Thomas T. O’Neill, 19.
The mayor of the town of Woodbridge, where the attack occurred, has ordered a citywide curfew.
Authorities have said the attacks were the work of two black men, Anthony Johnson and Nicholas O’Donnell, who authorities said were inspired by a racist website called the “alt-right.”
The group was based in the United States but has branches in Europe and other parts of the world.