Dash Cam Video: NJ Police Fatally Shoot Suspect Who Had Hands Up
On "America's Newsroom" this morning, we saw footage of a fatal traffic stop that is now making national headlines.
It involves two police officers and two black men in Bridgeton, New Jersey on Dec. 30, 2014.
The death of Jerame Reid came after the driver was pulled over for running a stop sign. Police say a gun was then spotted in the vehicle and seized.
In the video, the black officer can then be heard screaming at Reid not to move, warning that he will shoot him. The officer, Braheme Days, also yells to his white partner that Reid is "reaching" for something.
As Reid gets out of the Jaguar with his hands raised, the officers open fire.
The 36-year-old victim had a history of run-ins with the law, once serving time for shooting at police officers as a teen.
The officers, who are now on administrative leave, had both been accused of abuse of power in the past, but the complaints were dismissed.
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."
A Philadelphia lawyer, Conrad Benedetto, said he has been hired by Reid's wife, Lawanda, to investigate. 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.
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.
The Cumberland County prosecutor's office previously said a gun was seized during the stop but would not comment further on the investigation. 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.