SHERRON ROLAX was born June 3, 1979. He attracted a great deal of publicity after an incident involving then New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1996.

Governor Whitman was riding along in a police patrol car when officers stopped Rolax for suspicious activity in Camden, New Jersey; they frisked him, but found nothing. Whitman then also frisked Rolax while a state trooper photographed her. The picture was later published in newspapers statewide, drawing criticism from civil rights leaders. That Whitman was a weasel is beyond dispute, the historical record bears that out. That Sherron Rolax was a career criminal is also beyond dispute, equally borne out by the record of his deeds.

Although by chance nothing was found in Rolax that night, he soon was caught and pled guilty to two drug charges in 1997. A slap on the wrist sentence was agreed to as part of a plea bargain. Rolax failed to show up for sentencing, and received a four year sentence. When apprehended he was sent to the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale, N.J.

Rolax filed a tort claim to the United States District Court against Whitman, the State, the State Police, and other state officials on April 24, 2001. The case was dismissed because it was not filed early enough, which was affirmed on appeal.

After being released from Mountanview, Rolax returned to his criminal career. On May 31, 2002, Rolax was arrested for possession of narcotics within 1000 feet of school property. Rolax plead guilty on January 27, 2003, and was sentenced on February 28, 2003, to South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Rolax was eligible for parole as of May 30, 2005, and was back out on the street when caught once again, January 26, 2006, selling drugs within 1000 feet of school property. Sentenced to a mandatory minimum of eighteen months to four years in prison, Rolax served eighteen months at Mountainview, going back on the streets on parole July 26, 2007.

Rolax was killed in the early morning hours of May 24, 2008 in the aftermath of a loud verbal dispute in Camden, New Jersey. 

New York Times - July 19, 2000

Man Frisked by Whitman Awaits Appeal in Unrelated Drug Case

Before a photograph of a man being frisked by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman was released last week, the State Supreme Court had already agreed to hear the man's appeal in an unrelated drug case, his lawyer said yesterday.

Before a photograph of a man being frisked by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman was released last week, the State Supreme Court had already agreed to hear the man's appeal in an unrelated drug case, his lawyer said yesterday.

Dennis Wixted, the lawyer for Sherron Rolax, 21, of Camden, confirmed that Mr. Rolax was the man who was photographed with his hands against a wall as a grinning Mrs. Whitman patted him down during a drug sweep in 1996. The Star-Ledger reported last week that Mr. Rolax was the man in the photograph.

The court agreed in an order filed July 7 to hear Mr. Rolax's appeal of a 1997 sentence, Mr. Wixted said. Mr.

Rolax is serving a four-year sentence at the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale, N.J. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the court agreed to determine whether Mr. Rolax's term was consistent with certain sentencing guidelines. Anticipating leniency as part of a plea agreement, Mr. Rolax pleaded guilty to two drug charges in 1997, but he received a harsher sentence when he failed to show up for sentencing.

The incidents involving Mr. Rolax intersect in other ways: Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz, who will preside over the appeal, and one of the judges, Justice Peter G. Verniero, have been accused by the former state police commander, Carl Williams, of accompanying the governor on the drug sweep the night the photograph was taken.

The justices deny the allegation, said Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the court.

Mr. Verniero has recused himself from the case because he wrote the sentencing guidelines in question while serving as state attorney general.

Mr. Wixted declined to comment on the photograph. He said he was not preparing a lawsuit against the governor and was not aware of anyone who was. ''We've been rather closed-mouthed about it because what we're interested in is serving his interests and not anyone else's agenda,'' he said.


January 27, 2003

Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi announced that Sherron Rolax, M/23, pleaded guilty today to Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance Within 1,000 feet of a School.

Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Chatten will recommend that Rolax, of Oak Avenue in Lawnside, receive a sentence of five years in New Jersey State Prison, including three years without parole eligibility, when he is sentenced Feb. 28, 2003.

New Jersey State Police Officers arrested Rolax at approximately 12:25 a.m. on May 31, 2002, at Sheridan and Cope streets, after observing him conduct multiple drug sales. He was charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin. He is being held in the Camden County Correctional Facility in lieu of $35,000 bail.

Rolax was the subject of a search conducted by then-Gov. Christie Whitman during the 1990s. Rolax filed a civil lawsuit alleging the search violated his civil rights. The suit was dismissed.

From New jersey Department of Corrections
Offense Date
Sentence Date
County of Commitment
Minimum Term
1 count/merged count of :
2C:35-7*3 CDS/Distribute Drugs On School Property/3
January 26, 2006 September 8, 2006


06-05-01631-I 18 Months 4 Years
Released on parole, July 26, 2007

Camden Courier-Post * May 24, 2008

Man shot and killed overnight in Camden

The man frisked in 1996 by former Gov. Christie Whitman during an infamous state police ride-along was shot and killed in Camden early this morning.

Sherron Rolax, 28, of Camden, was shot at around 12:45 this morning on the 1500 block of Louis Street, officials with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.

Rolax was in a group of people involved in a verbal dispute that turned violent. After the fight, Rolax was shot and killed, according to officials.

The homicide is the city's twenty-third of the year, along with two fatal police shootings.

Rolax attracted statewide attention when a picture of him being patted down by Whitman was widely circulated.

He later sued Whitman, claiming she had violated his civil rights when she searched him while she was on a ride-along with state troopers in Camden. A judge ruled in 2002 that the lawsuit was filed too late.

Also that year, Rolax was arrested after officers spotted him selling drugs at Sheridan and Cope streets in Camden. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of a school and was sentenced to five years in prison.

He was released on parole in July of 2007, according to the Department of Corrections.

Rolax's shooter has not been identified.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Camden County Prosecutor's Office Investigator Eric Wren at (856) 225-8400 or Camden City Police Detective Cheryl Campbell at (856) 757-7420.