"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
A video of the December 30 killing of Jerame Reid in Bridgeton, New Jersey was released. It raised questions and stirred anger as the video appeared to show another death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police.
The video gave a partial view of the shooting but there is enough footage to see that Reid had his arms raised at shoulder height before he was shot. The nighttime video of the shooting was taken from the police car dashboard camera. It begins with a traffic stop and goes from routine to deadly in just over a minute. The video could be seen on the CBS News website (1.21.15).
Just after the video switched on, police officer Braheme Days approached Reid on the passenger side of a Jaguar. Less than 20 seconds later, the situation turned tense when Days warned his partner, Roger Worley, that he could see a gun in the glove compartment.
During the interaction, Days screamed “Don’t you f—ing move!,” “Show me your hands!” and “If you reach for something, you’re going to be … dead” at the man in the passenger seat. The officer reached into the car and appeared to remove a gun. Then, the passenger, despite repeatedly being warned not to move, stepped out of the car with his hands raised. The officers opened fire, killing him.
The video showed the shooting and the background leading up to it, however, there are still many unresolved questions that will be critical in an investigation.
A “Use of Force Policy” (PDF) from the New Jersey Attorney General said, “a law-enforcement officer may use deadly force when the officer reasonably believes such action is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.”
From the video it is not clear what threat the officers believed they faced.
The investigation may be handled by the state attorney general.
Victims of police brutality, excessive force, false arrest, unlawful shooting, wrongful convictions or other civil rights violations should contact an experienced lawyer. For more than 30 years, lawyers at The Perecman Firm have aggressively helped victims in New York file civil rights lawsuits and obtain compensation.