One Week After Memorial, Federal Indictment Handed Down in New Brunswick Mass Shooting

Two men were charged in the Delafield St. mass shooting shortly after our campaign gathered with victims’ families to call for change, demand answers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The city’s only independent candidate for Mayor, Charlie Kratovil, responded to the recent news of a racketeering indictment involving the mass shooting that killed two men and injured seven other people on Delafield Street in New Brunswick on September 13, 2020.

Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of seven alleged members of the “Bounty Hunter Bloods” gang, including two of the four alleged perpetrators of the mass shooting, which was the worst in the modern history of Middlesex County.

Exactly one week prior, on September 13, the Kratovil for Mayor campaign marked two years since this tragedy by joining with the families of murder victims Anthony Robinson and Lionel Macauley for a well-attended memorial event in their honor.

During that memorial service, many family members expressed the emotional distress of not having answers about the murder investigation, as documented in a comprehensive article published by Kratovil yesterday:

  • “I’m so angry. Mad. Can’t get no answers to no questions, at all,” said Tina Robinson, the mother of Anthony Robinson. 
  • “Lionel was killed two years ago, and it’s still raw. It’s still raw… The pain is still there, because we have no idea what is going on with the investigation” said Michaela Macauley, the aunt of Lionel Macauley.

The victims’ families were first informed of the federal indictment through personal calls from Charlie Kratovil, who developed personal relationships with them through his work as a reporter and by organizing community actions around New Brunswick’s violent crime crisis.

Today, Kratovil issued the following statement in response to the indictment: “I stand with these families and hope the news that some of the perpetrators have been charged will bring some semblance of comfort to them in this difficult time.  However, we must not rest until all of the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice.  I also strongly object to the indictment’s assertion that one of the young men killed that night was a ‘purported gang rival’ of their killers.  By all accounts, Anthony Robinson and Lionel Macauley were good men who lived good lives and had bright futures ahead of them.  My heart goes out to all victims of violence and their families.  As an advocate for truth, justice, and transparency, I will continue to investigate, follow the facts, and share the information I find with these families and the rest of the community.”

“My brother was no gang member and never been affiliated with any gang,” said Cannitta Pitts, the sister of Anthony Robinson.

Lionel Macauley’s family has similarly emphasized what an upstanding member of society he was, with his aunt Michaela explaining how Lionel would “volunteer his time, feed the homeless, go to food pantries, work and help people” without seeking any recognition for his actions, and that his death was “a big loss, not just to the family but also to the community.” 

The families say they have received no outreach from the New Brunswick Mayor’s Office. The city’s 31-year incumbent Mayor still has not addressed the mass shooting, continuing his years-long refusal to acknowledge that the massacre on Delafield Street even occurred.

Kratovil called out the current Mayor’s deafening silence during last week’s memorial service: “Can you think of any other city where there was a mass shooting, and the mayor remained silent on it? Something’s not right here.  In fact, it’s terribly wrong.”

During last week’s memorial, Kratovil also pointed out the city’s long-standing failure to protect public safety and inform the community about violent crime, including this mass shooting: “Even though nine people were shot, and two lives were lost, the city didn’t think it was important enough to use their emergency alert system. The next morning, they used it for a routine announcement… like nothing had happened at all. That’s unacceptable.” 

Before the investigation into the mass shooting became a federal case, the city government was less than forthcoming with information – but that is nothing new. In his role as an investigative journalist, Kratovil sued the city for refusing to publicly release basic information on violent crimes, and he won that case earlier this year when the NJ Appellate Division ordered New Brunswick to be more transparent.

“It shouldn’t take over a year and an Appellate Court case to get this basic information, but I won’t stop fighting until our police department is transparent, accountable, and proactive in preventing violent crimes, and protecting the people of New Brunswick,” said Kratovil.