Lawyer of slain man's family says prosecutor omitted details

AP News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2015 12:46 PM
Lawyer of slain man's family says prosecutor omitted details

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — The prosecutor weighing whether to charge two police officers with the death of a man shot during a traffic stop omitted details in a statement saying a grand jury failed to indict the officials, the attorney for the slain man's family said Friday.

The family of 36-year-old Jerame Reid, who was fatally shot in December 2014 with his hands up after defying police orders not to exit the stopped vehicle, was saddened by the Cumberland County grand jury's failure to indict officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley, attorney Conrad Benedetto said in a statement.

The Cumberland County prosecutor's office said it was giving "the factual circumstances of the incident" in a Thursday news release about the grand jury's decision not to indict the officers, but it left out details like the officers' statements and autopsy reports, Benedetto said.

While the prosecutor noted Reid's criminal history, he did not point out aspects of the officers' past, including that one of the officers involved had left law enforcement positions after investigations into his own conduct, Benedetto said.

Days and Worley have been the subjects of a handful of complaints alleging abuses of power over the past two years, but all the complaints were dismissed.

First assistant prosecutor Harold Shapiro declined to comment on Benedetto's statements.

Police actions across the country have come under scrutiny since a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot an unarmed 18-year-old last August.

Reid's shooting gained further attention after a police dashboard camera showed details of their encounter.

Police, with the camera in their cruiser rolling, pulled a Jaguar over for running a stop sign. Things turned tense when one of the officers warned his partner he could see a gun in the glove compartment.

Screaming "Don't you f---ing move!" and "Show me your hands!" at Reid, who was in the passenger seat, the officer reached into the car and appeared to remove a silver handgun.

Then Reid, despite being warned repeatedly not to move, stepped out of the Jaguar, his hands raised about shoulder level.

The officers opened fire, killing him.

Reid and the driver were black. The Bridgeton officer who spotted the gun, Days, is black; his partner, Worley, is white.

Both officers have been placed on leave while prosecutors investigate.

Reid spent about 13 years in prison for shooting at three state troopers when he was a teenager. Days recognized his name because he was among the arresting officers in August 2014 when Reid was charged with several crimes, including drug possession and obstruction.

Reid's widow, Lawanda, filed a $1 million federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the city of condoning excessive force by its officers. She also reached a tentative settlement with the county for $340,000 for abuse Jerame Reid had earlier said he suffered in prison.