New Jersey police release video of cop shooting man with hands up

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jan 22, 2015 8:11 PM

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) - A New Jersey police department released a video this week of a man being fatally shot by police as he got out of a car with his hands raised during a traffic stop, heightening calls for an independent investigation into the death.

The footage, recorded on a police dashboard camera, showed a traffic stop escalating into the deadly confrontation in less than two minutes after one of the police officers said he saw a gun in the car's glove compartment.

The death of Jerame Reid on Dec. 30 in Bridgeton has prompted protests in the city, local media has reported. Some protests have been similar to those over cases last year in Missouri and New York City in which white police officers killed unarmed black men.

Reid, who was sitting in the car's front passenger side, was black, as is the car's driver.

The video shows a black police officer, identified in local media reports as Braheme Days, approaching the parked car on Reid's side. "Hey, how are you all doing?" he asks cordially before asking why they had not stopped at a stop sign.

Within a few seconds, Days pulls out his gun and tells his white patrol partner, identified in media reports as Roger Worley, that there is a gun in the glove compartment.

"Don't you fucking move. I'm going to shoot you," Days said. He also shouted at Worley to get the men out of the car.

The video shows Days reaching into the car and removing what appears to be a gun and dropping it to the ground.

Days repeatedly orders the men not to move and show their hands, referring to Reid by his first name at one point.

Moments later, Days shouts: "He's reaching! He's reaching!"

Days steps back from the car, and Reid emerges with his hands up around shoulder height.

Almost instantly, both police officers shoot at him. At least six shots can be heard as Reid falls to the ground.

The Bridgeton Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday the it was opposed to releasing the video but was legally forced to do so after a New Jersey newspaper asked for it under the Open Public Records Act.

The police department did not respond to Reuters requests for further information about the case. The Cumberland County prosecutor's office said it could not release details because the investigation was ongoing.

Local media reported that both officers had been put on leave.

According to John Edward, who works with Conrad Benedetto, a lawyer representing Reid's family, Days knew Reid because he arrested him in 2014 on charges of drug possession that were later dismissed.

Edward confirmed media reports that Reid had spent some 15 years in prison for the non-fatal shooting of three police officers when he was 15.

In an emailed statement, Benedetto said the state's attorney general or another independent law enforcement agency should investigate the killing.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)