No Charges for NJ Trooper for Deadly Shooting – NBC New York

A state grand jury has declined to file prison fees towards a white New Jersey state trooper who fatally shot a Black motorist throughout a visitors cease on the Backyard State Parkway two years in the past, the state lawyer common’s workplace mentioned Tuesday.

Maurice Gordon’s loss of life occurred two days earlier than the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked protests all over the world towards police racism and brutality.

The 28-year-old Gordon was from Jamaica and had been residing in Poughkeepsie, New York, whereas learning chemistry at a neighborhood faculty.

William O. Wagstaff III, an lawyer representing Gordon’s household, known as the grand jury’s choice “not a surprise” and mentioned information supplied by the state confirmed that police use pressure towards Black folks eight instances greater than towards white folks in comparable eventualities.

“Today’s vote of no true bill is another reminder that police accountability still escapes Black people in New Jersey,” he mentioned in an e-mail Tuesday.

State Police Sgt. Randall Wetzel stopped Gordon at about 6:15 a.m. on Could 23, 2020, after Gordon was witnessed driving over 100 mph.

Within the hours main as much as the cease, Gordon was ticketed for dashing and an off-duty police officer and two different state troopers stopped to help him at numerous places after his automotive ran out of gasoline, in response to the state lawyer common’s workplace. At one level, a automotive passing by pulled over and gave Gordon a experience to a comfort retailer to get gasoline.

New Jersey’s lawyer common launched police audio and video recordings Monday that captured the occasions main as much as the deadly taking pictures of 28-year-old Maurice Gordon. The 12 recordsdata supplied by Lawyer Common Gurbir Grewal’s workplace and accompanying descriptions present Gordon’s household with crucial particulars of the night time he died. At roughly 6:26 a.m. on Could 23, Gordon was stopped for a second time that hour for driving at speeds over 100 miles per hour, the report says. Sgt. Randall Wetzel of the New Jersey State Police pulled Gordon over on the Backyard State Parkway close to Exit 50 in Bass River, New Jersey.

In video launched by the lawyer common’s workplace two weeks after Gordon’s loss of life, Wetzel and Gordon will be heard discussing shifting Gordon’s automotive additional off the highway, and Wetzel is seen guiding Gordon away from the highway and to the again of the police automotive.

Gordon is seen within the video sitting behind the automotive with out handcuffs, and Wetzel tells him he must pat him down. Wetzel additionally provided to offer Gordon a experience and name a tow truck.

About 20 minutes after the start of the encounter, Gordon launched his seat belt and obtained out of the police automotive. Wetzel was off digital camera however may very well be heard telling Gordon to return to the automotive. Gordon appeared to stroll to the motive force’s aspect of the automobile in an try to get in.

“Get out of the car!” Wetzel yelled, earlier than the lads moved off-screen. Scuffling sounds may very well be heard, adopted by gunshots. Wetzel used pepper spray and fired six instances, in response to the lawyer common’s workplace.

Wetzel will be heard on the video telling a fellow trooper who arrived on the scene that Gordon, whereas handcuffed, tried to seize his gun. It wasn’t clear when {the handcuffs} have been positioned on Gordon.

Additionally launched have been audio recordings of a 911 name from the day earlier than the taking pictures made by considered one of Gordon’s buddies, who mentioned Gordon had left his home in the course of the night time wanting “really panicked.”

Gordon’s household has filed a lawsuit towards towards Wetzel, State Police Col. Patrick Callahan and then-Lawyer Common Gurbir Grewal, arguing race was a think about Gordon’s loss of life. That swimsuit is pending in federal court docket.

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