This was a chance to tell a different narrative of the neighborhood, his close friend, Mayor Ras Baraka said that day.
And in many ways, it was a turning point for Tucker, too.
More than 20 years ago, Tucker served four years in prison for his involvement in a drive-by shooting. In the years since his release in 2001 and the death of his father in 2005, Tucker had begun to rebuild on the heels of his family's legacy. He started a political consulting business, headed his father's nonprofit community center and hoped to inch the city closer to its comeback.
"Your father is looking down," Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, D-28th Dist., told her son that day. "He had high hopes for you, and on this day, you have brought them to fruition."
But the new chapter written at the corner of Bergen Street and Lehigh Avenue that July would soon be tainted. Less than a month later, Tucker signed a federal plea agreement, admitting he embezzled $332,116 from The Centre, Inc., a nonprofit started by his father, and lied about his six-figure consulting income, gleaned in part from political campaigns in Newark and Orange.