New Hands Up Shooting Is Anything But Black and White

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Disturbing video released of N.J. cops killing man after traffic stop.

BRIDGETON, N.J. A police dash-cam video released this week that shows police shooting and killing a black man during a traffic stop in New Jersey is being cited by activists and the victim’s lawyer as evidence that the killing was unjustified. Jerame Reid, 36, was in the passenger seat when the car in which he was riding was stopped in Bridgeton, N.J., allegedly for going through a stop sign. The nearly two-minute deadly standoff came after the killings of black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, triggered months of turbulent protests, violence and calls for a re-examination of police use of force. He told Reid to show him his hands — and not to move. “I’m going to shoot you,” Days shouted in the video, made public after newspapers’ requests under New Jersey’s open-records law, as the Associated Press reported. “You’re going to be f—ing dead.

He said in a statement the footage “raises serious questions as to the legality and/or reasonableness of the officers’ actions that night” because Reid was shot as he raised his hands. The new video, which only gives a partial view of the shooting, is unlikely to quell the outrage—especially because it doesn’t address protestors complaints over conflicts of interest in the prosecutor’s office charged with the investigation. Both officers have been placed on leave while prosecutors investigate. “The video speaks for itself that at no point was Jerame Reid a threat and he possessed no weapon on his person,” Walter Hudson, chairman and founder of the civil rights group the National Awareness Alliance, said Wednesday. “He complied with the officer and the officer shot him.” Reid, 36, spent about 13 years in prison for shooting at three state troopers when he was a teenager. And Days knew who he was; Days was among the arresting officers last year when Reid was charged with several crimes, including drug possession and obstruction. In Bridgeton, where two-thirds of the residents are black or Hispanic, the killing has stirred small protests over the past couple of weeks, including a demonstration on Wednesday, a day after the video was made public at the request of two newspapers under the state’s open records law.

Other aspects of Reid’s death are more familiar months after Brown’s Aug. 9 shooting in Ferguson, Mo., roiled the nation with protests over how minority communities are treated by police. Bridgeton police would not answer any questions about the video and said they opposed its release as neither “compassionate or professional.” County prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae has disqualified herself from the case because she knows Days.

But Lawanda Reid’s lawyer and activists are demanding the state attorney general’s office take over the investigation, something it said it will not do. The video, which shows not only the shooting but also the background leading up to it, still leaves unresolved questions that will be critical in a criminal investigation. In October Hudson was indicted for allegedly assaulting a police officer after an altercation at a youth basketball game in Penns Grove-Carneys Point New Jersey, where serves on the school board.

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