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  • Karen Edmond

A Letter From The Editor Of The Echo Before Testifying Against A Domestic Terrorist From Toms River

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

(In addendum: The first car accident happened 2016, and the 2nd car accident occurred on Jan 15, 2017, MLK Day. Whilst being harassed by large trucks that had Trump, confederate, or Blue Lives Matter Flags on them. Good news. As of today May 17, 2022 domestic terrorist Mr. Eric Hafner plead guilty to all charges.) KBE

Dear readers, I would like to share an intimate tale from an African American perspective. Long story made short, I found myself in a precarious situation with having to manage a bomb threat at a previous job. About 6-7 years after the incident, I now have to testify against a Monmouth County, NJ, domestic terrorist named Eric Hafner. According to an article written Nov 1, 2019, by Joe Atmonavage for The Star-Ledger, titled "Former N.J. man in hiding threatened to kill cops, judges, and other state officials feds say." States that,

"A former Monmouth County resident living on the run, who once ran for Congress in Oregon, allegedly made threats against state officials, judges, law enforcement officers and others from outside the United States in an attempt to intimidate and extort them, authorities said.

(Pictured below is Eric Hafner in Fair Haven NJ campaigning.)

Eric G. Hafner, 28, was charged with nine counts of making threatening communications in interstate or foreign commerce with intent to extort, 18 counts of making threatening communications in interstate or foreign commerce and six counts of conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive device, the U.S. Attorney's office announced, in releasing a 33-count indictment. Authorities arrested Hafner on Sept 27 in the Northern Mariana Islands. (Philippines)

"(Hafner) embarked on a campaign of terror directed at judges, elected officials, and members of law enforcement in Monmouth County and elsewhere," said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. "He threatened to detonate bombs and kill and otherwise harm his victims, all in an effort to cause psychological harm and extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from them."

The lengthy indictment outlines how Hafner — from locations such as Tokyo and Dublin — allegedly threatened local, and state officials and others from 2016 to 2018 who he thought had previously wronged him."

(Pictured below is Eric Hafner's mother Carol Hafner who resides in Tom River NJ)

Sounds like a fun guy, right? This month, I will be testifying against him, and boy, am I just pissed. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I've had to handle one big backward event after another between 2007 to 2019. From having my husband of 16 years, who I often bailed out of prison, abandon me with eight children ranging from infancy to 19 years old in 2007. To having to protest against the Long Branch Housing Authority under the Tyrone Garrett Administration from 2010 to 2014. The Garrett administration felt that a person of my income and color should not be allowed to live in Lincroft NJ. Despite me informing them that Lincroft was once a Black-owned town named Leedsville.

Below Republican NJ Assemblyman Former Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D.

Below Democrat Congressman Frank Pallone from L.B. NJ

What made matters worse was that the HUD complaint phone# listed in the LBHA packet was a fake number to, I think, a titty bar. I filed a complaint with the Department of HUD that did nothing. And complained to Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone's office & Middletown Mayor Republican Gary Scharfenberger. Both gentlemen found the incident highly unethical because HUD was created under the guise of equal opportunity in the pursuit of desegregating towns with systematically disenfranchised Black citizenship.

(Below Karen Brittingham-Edmond Relaunch Echo Blog Publisher)

Furthermore, in this time period from 2010 - 2019, I had to

  • Confront the Lincroft Elementary School in their implicit and explicit racist learning methods. And report them to the state.

  • I cared for my elderly mother while ensuring that my five young adults attended college (because their father was advising them all else wise.)

  • Raising or babysitting my teenage niece plus three grandchildren.

  • Assisting my older sister & older brother with transportation and care like making sure we had Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday dinners from time to time.

  • While attending school to secure an A.A. in Public Relations, Nonprofit Management Certificate, A.S. Human Services, and Clinical Research Management Certification, while seeking to complete my bachelor's in Forensic Psychology.

  • Plus, by 2019, I had to relocate. And it was super hard to find an apartment. This was when I learned that most of the apartment complexes in Monmouth County were owned and operated by Kushner's real-estate companies. Once securing an apartment and moving in, the legal counselors who represent Beachway LLC by the names of, Jeffrey M. Cohen & Enrique M. Lamela, of Union, NJ, would constantly try to evict me for paying my rent on time. What Beachway would do is that when I submitted my payment to their online bill collecting service, Computex, the online service would not process my rent payment until the 5th or 8th. So it did not matter if you paid your rent on the 1st of the month. This group systematically made sure my rent payments would not process in a timely manner on purpose. Which was bizarre. I spoke to my bank, and they said they heard of these people and to process my online payments with the bank only. And that helped a lot.

  • Unfortunately, my mother passed away, and her life insurance policies were stolen.

  • 2016 I experienced a hit and run in front of where I resided that caused the below damage. And then, six months later, I got struck from behind by a guy from Texas on Martin Luther King Day, Jan 15, 2017. Hence I had two cars totaled by angry White men I did not know. Tinton Falls police and lawyer Stephen Haddad ensured that I received a measly or no settlement. And when I reached out to local Black lawyers, male or female, they cowardly declined.

  • Plus, between 2017 to 2019, I would experience large trucks with giant confederate, Trump, or American flags that would puff out huge clouds of black smoke from their exhaust pipe and would also shoot out nails that would damage my tires repeatedly. (I can't even make this shit up LOL.) I had to keep getting my tires repaired or buying tires, and the Sears Auto Repair Man would ask me, "Where the hell am I getting all of these nails in my tires?

I'm sharing my story because, as Black people, we go through hassles that would make others drop to their knees and give up. But with each situation I had to handle on my own, I would remember playing cards with my dad. And remembering his words that "cowards don't win wars."

(Pictured below my dad William D. Brittingham IV's senior high school picture from Atlantic Highlands N.J.)

On a side note as a child, my father, Sonny Brittingham, would always play this game with me called "I Declare War." My father was the type of person who would give a child a dictionary or encyclopedia to read. And then ask you questions about what you read and what you found most interesting per new words found in the dictionary or information in an encyclopedia. This occurred in my life from age 4 to 7 years.

After enjoying a family dinner, my father would say to me, "Okay, Karen, it's time to play "I Declare War." It was an old fashion game. My father and I would play this game until I won perfectly. And then my father would look me in my eyes and say, "An alone assassin is more dangerous than a whole platoon." Then father would make my siblings and me ice cream sundaes or pudding shakes. As a child, I never understood what my father meant. My son Judah shared that my father saw something in me that I couldn't see for myself even as a child.

(Pictured below the boxer that my father was nicknamed after Sonny Liston)

My father would also take me down into the basement to teach me how to box. A passion I had no idea that my father was gifted with. Unfortunately, my father was placed in prison for approximately five years for peeing publicly. The re-mass incarceration of Black men for petty reasons started around 1972. And although my father was a medic in Germany during the Korean War plus served as both a football player for the U.S. Army & Golden Gloves Boxer in the Army, my father died a poor and broken man working at a dog food company in Long Branch NJ. I'm sharing this commentary because of something else my father would tell me between ages 4-7 yrs old. And that was that "Cowards do not win wars." My dad's and mother's people were military people. Their service goes back to participating in slave uprisings, American Indian uprisings, and Civil War era.

Hence I have found myself in just horrible situations. Starting at the age of 18 years old. But with each incident I reflected on my father's words, I realized that if I did not stand and fight for what was right, plus for myself, I would have genuinely perished long ago. (Thanks be to my Lord & Savior Jesus the Christ.) Also for some reason when ever I'm in a dangerous situation I have visions of this Indian Chief who stands on a cloud with his arms folded looking very sternly but never looking directly at me. But looking at something. I don't know why.

I've experienced that repeated vision whenever I'm frightened or in a dangerous situation. The last time he showed up is when Sandy Hit and I was completely frightened but when he showed up the storm that was shaking the house stop. Either the regal chief or a jolly portly older well dressed Quaker man dressed in 17th century attire shows I don't know why but here's what happened at Monmouth Race Track a place that had pictures of my Great Great Grandfathers winning thoroughbreds adorning executive office walls. One of the horses name is Rockwell. His picture stood at the entrance of my office space.

I worked at Monmouth Race Track in Oceanport between 2014 to 2016. First as a wager processor for online horse racing betting and then as the front desk switchboard operator in the executive office for $12 an hour. My immediate supervisor heard that I was going to school for psychology and thought I would be perfect handling a mish-mosh of people coming into the administrative office. I was trained by Ms. Barbara Davis. She worked as the front desk switchboard operator for the last 40 yrs and was getting feisty in her old age per executive staff.

Other new trainees found her intolerable, but when I met her, she was initially abrupt until I reminded her that I was Cindy Brittingham's daughter, one of her mother Priscilla's best friends. I also reminded her that she gave me and my siblings our first dog Snoopy. And how she would stop us, kids, from Gregory School, from fighting in the middle of the street. She would always shout at us that we were "acting just the way White folks wanted to see us acting in public and that we better stop and take our butts home!" On a side note Miss. Davis didn't have to pull over too often because she would say, "You all are acting just the way White folks want you to act fighting each other in the streets!" would convict our hearts. And as kids we would find better things to do.

Although Miss. Davis could be sweet; she was mainly stressed. And I would soon find out why. I found ridiculous racist actions at the race track, although I was there because I could literally find no other job. One incident had to do with an event coordinator who put nooses throughout the racetrack park. Even White guests at the park that day were mortified. When I questioned the young Middle Eastern woman regarding the incident, she replied, "she thought nooses were just fine and that she was going to put animals in the nooses for display." I complained to the Vice President of Operations, and he sent out maintenance men to take down each noose she strung up. This occurred two months before the bomb threat & evacuation of the race track.

Nevertheless, I worked and trained individuals to work at the front desk during the summers of 2015 & 2016. I also advocated for a Black history celebration regarding the legacy of both African & North American Natives' contributions to the founding of an establishment of horse racing industry in Monmouth County that brings in millions upon millions of dollars to the county to this day. I proposed that a weekend be set aside to celebrate Black horsemen & women by inviting the Universal Circus down for one month. I shared that Monmouth Race Track celebrated the Irish, Italian, & Latino population per special events but never never never set aside a day acknowledging the Black contribution to the horse racing field.

(Pictured below Jockey Willie Simms on Lamplighter and thoroughbred trainer pictured below. Lamplighter is another famous horse pictured at Monmouth Park circa 1890. He remains the only Black rider to have won all three Triple Crown races.)

The executives at the track liked the idea. I further suggested that a portion of the funds be utilized to raise money for Black youth to attend quality summer camps because just because kids are out of school in the summer doesn't mean that mom & dad will stop working to watch them. And that when children are given more than enough good things to choose from, they will be diverted from gang activity because they would have a quality choice. I also advocated that said funds raised from this unique yearly event would be shared to care for our historical Black institutions throughout Monmouth County, including African American historic churches & burial grounds.

The executive office liked the idea. Older faculty members approved. Even Miss Beverly Davis, the lady who trained me for the position and later transferred to head another office on the track near the horses (because Miss Beverly loved horses.) Liked the idea and would be honored at the annual event because she and her sister were the first female buyers of thoroughbred horses that ran in races from Monmouth County, NJ.

Unfortunately, two months after sharing my idea with Monmouth Park leadership, the bomb threat came in. It was a beautiful day, and everybody was excited about the Beerfest happening at the track. My job that day was to

  • Direct all calls to their appropriate departments,

  • Process season passes,

  • Notate ground quality of race track per official (turf or dirt) depending on inclement weather,

  • Alert announcers stand of any changes, and

  • Deal with consumers who felt that the purse wagers were too low etc., etc.

At approximately around 12:30ish, P.M. I began to receive crazy calls from a young White guy. His call was full of vulgarity and anger, and I basically told him to "stop playing on my phone and hung up on the caller. This individual called back repeatedly, wherewith I kept hanging up on him and telling this young White boy to "Stop playing on my phone."

After repeatedly hanging up on the individual. The last time I hung up on individual, I told him to listen, "I have your phone# idiot; why are you doing this shit?" The individual paused, so I hung up on him again. After that, the individual called back and seemed to have given the phone to a Jared Kushner-sounding person. This person said calmly, "Unless I want to see thousands of people injured or killed, I better tell somebody that there is a C-8 pipe-bomb in the stand, and they better evacuate the people asap."

This guy on the phone did not sound like a 20-something-year-old psychopath who wanted to murder the then-owner of Monmouth Race Track, Dennis Drazin Esq, and chop up his and his family's body, so I said "okay." He then said that he would call me back in 5 mins to see if I followed his instructions. Then it seemed as if the Jared Kushner-sounding individual handed the phone back to the psychopath, and he went immediately into his rant about wanting to murder people and chop up their bodies and that he put a bomb in the stands. (Btw: psychopaths are known to have the ability to switch personalities at a drop of a dime.)

After taking a quick short breath, I went to the Vice President of Monmouth Park to alert him of the situation. He was in shock momentarily and asked how far away he sounded, and I told him it sounded like he was right outside on the road, and other times he sounded kinda far away. ( I stated that because I always received calls from people on their way to the racetrack to know if the facility was still open because it may have been raining that day or how the turf was for the day.) The enraged young White guy sounded far away but when he switched his voice to sound like Jared Kushner he sounded like he was right in front of the race track. So I understand when people sound close or far away. Like when we would receive calls from Saudi Arabia because international horses would be arriving to race at Monmouth Park, The Jewel of the Jersey Shore. There calls although very clear still sounded a distance away.

After alerting my immediate supervisor, I immediately called security and called the police to report the incident. Being that I, was majoring in forensic psychology at the time, I knew the next time the individual called that I needed to keep him on the phone as long as possible.

Individual called back, and this time, I wrote down the phone number and utilized my Monmouth Medical Training in notating a call by notating the time, sound effects in the background, and transferring the call to security after a five-minute lag time questioning individual on

  • Why is he doing this?,

  • What color is the bomb?

  • Would we have time to get women and children out safely?

  • One moment another call is coming in. I'll be right back.

This would hopefully give law enforcement the ability to track calls, being that the executive office computer and telephone systems were antiquated. Once police arrived, I was told to alert the grandstand with a particular code. Once hearing said code, the grandstand announcer would know to utilize evacuation protocol. Once all essential departments were alerted and met up at the executive office, where I worked, I told my supervisor, "Well, my parts done, I'm out of here." Where in my immediate supervisor, said I couldn't go until all visitors in the park were adequately evacuated.

Both the police and executive office team apologized that I had to experience this situation. Suddenly Mr. Drazin rushed in, looking flushed, terrified, and in panic mode. That's when I realized that this shit was really going down and that the pipe-bomb could be anywhere.

After the bomb unit searched for a pipe bomb, they found something. But did not clarify to me what they found. In the meantime, I was amid an onslaught of media calls coming into the switchboard. I was told not to confirm the incident, although 1000s of people were evacuating race track stands. And bomb-sniffing dogs were running about. Before I hung up the phone, on one media person from news 12 or channel 7 news reporter stated to me that "a bomb threat" or "a bomb had gone off in Seaside Heights." When I finally left the park that day, I was shaken and really angry simultaneously.

The racetrack cut my hours down to one day a week the following month. I obtained my second associate's degree in Human Services. I found a new job more aligned with my hospital and educational background in December 2016 as a clinical research coordinator making $18.50 per hour, which was a lot better than $12 an hour at the race track any day. Unfortunately, I lost my job with the onslaught of being hit from behind and experiencing injuries that needed medical pain management treatment. By November of 2018 I lost that good job. Not because I wasn't good at my job but because I experienced pain complications from car accident from Jan 15, 2017 MLK Day where I had a lot of doctors appointments during 2017 & 2018.

As we fast forward, to May 2022 I am confronted with having to testify against a domestic terrorist this month. And I'm not a happy camper. But I have no fear of testifying against a racist psychopath or his supporters because he ruined my day. And because of the car accident in Jan 2017, I lost my okay-paying job as a clinical research coordinator at a local laboratory in Neptune, NJ. I was getting paid $18.50 an hour, and there was room for growth. But because of the injuries I acquired in car accidents, I lost my hours and later lost my job. I'm saying all of this because I don't know what might happen at the court hearing, but there is one thing I do know. An alone assassin can do more damage than an entire platoon. And cowards don't win wars.

(Pictured below Mama Pope from the TV hit show Scandal.)

Pray for my & my family's protection and that the proper authorities do the right thing. To address violent racists who reside in Monmouth County. Plus, heavily fine those who parade around with the flag of sedition on their trucks and cars. Because, in my opinion, domestic terrorists work together. And good people of Monmouth County Black & White must address and dismantle these dangerous individuals and their cohorts' activities to let them know they are not in control.

I also felt led to alert readers of my experience so that when they see these trucks with giant American Flags on them to know these people aren't patriots. They're racist. And per my experience the drivers were usually White males. So please drive carefully.

Thanks for reading! Please enjoy DMX's "X's Gonna Give It To Yah."

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