Video footage released by New Jersey mayor’s office the last week of a councilwoman striking a bicyclist last month and driving away is causing residents and fellow city councilmembers to demand her resignation.
Updated Wednesday August 3, 2022 12:00 p.m. - It turns out Amy DeGise has a long history of traffic violations. You can read the update here.
Amy DeGise, a first-term councilwoman-at-large in Jersey City, was driving her Nissan Rogue at 8 a.m. on July 19 north on Martin Luther King Drive when she struck Andrew Black at the Forrest Street intersection. Not only did she not stop to check on Black, she didn’t even slow down.
Warning: This footage may be disturbing to some readers.
Black initially told police he had the green light, but police later showed that he was mistaken. Still, while DeGise had the green light, it doesn’t excuse not stopping at the scene of an accident. Black told HudPost he suffered scrapes, bruises, and lingering muscle pain as well as psychological effects following the collision:
Regarding the collision, Black recalls that he “hit the hood,” “rolled over,” and was assisted by members of the local community. HudPost has reviewed video footage that appears to capture a black Nissan Rogue striking a cyclist, nearly head-on, at the aforementioned intersection.
Black was grateful that, despite dealing with deep bruising, he didn’t suffer major physical injuries; however, he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and says the incident has already caused increased anxiety.
He hasn’t received any police reports regarding the incident from the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) and was unaware of the media coverage surrounding the incident prior to being contacted by HudPost. As for DeGise, Black said he was disappointed to hear stereotypes of who his neighbors thought was responsible for striking him only to find out it was “someone of prestige.”
DeGis has not released a statement or responded to requests for comment, according to NBC New York. Some of DeGis’ fellow council members have called on her to resign:
“Past being elected its a living human being, it was really hard for me to witness that,” said Councilman Frank Gilmore. “It’s a matter of public trust, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of human decency.”
It has led to growing calls for DeGise to stop down. Fellow councilmember James Solomon was among the first to sign a change.org petition calling for the first-term councilwoman to step down in the wake of the incident.
“The word I use is horrified, that’s how I felt watching the video,” said Solomon. “She’s an elected official and we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and that’s why I think she should resign.”
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop called the accident a “terrible mistake” according to NBC, but did not call on the councilwoman to resign. DeGise has been charged with failure to report an accident. Her office released a statement saying she had no intention of resigning, according to Fox News:
“Councilwoman DeGise was elected overwhelmingly just a few months ago and she has no intention of walking away from the commitment she made to serve the people of Jersey City. She will not resign and plans to complete her full term and continue in public service,” DeGise’s spokesman, Phil Swibinski, said in a statement obtained by Patch.com.