A civil rights group is calling for a grand jury investigation into the
death of a New Jersey man who was shot by two police officers after allegedly
attempting to escape from a police department building. The prosecutor
and the police department, however, claim that they have reviewed the
incident and deny that the officers acted improperly.
According to police reports, the 19-year-old man was being booked on
domestic violence charges in the processing room of the Garfield Police Department when
he ran out the rear door. Several members of the Garfield and Bergen County
police forces, including a K-9 unit, pursued the man.
He was eventually found in a garage near the department. Police were reportedly
unable to ender the garage's side door, but opened the bay door and
found the man inside. The man had allegedly armed himself with various
tools found inside the garage. When police saw the tools in the man's
hands, they fired at him multiple times. He suffered massive injuries,
and was later pronounced dead at Hackensack Medical Center.
Now, the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, a civil rights group,
is raising questions about the shooting and the events leading up to it.
The group recently released a statement accusing the Bergen County Prosecutor's
office of having "systemic unresolved issues" regarding the
internal review of incidents involving police officers' use of force.
The group is calling for a grand jury investigation into the shooting
to determine whether it was justified.
The family of the deceased man is also reportedly planning to file a wrongful
death lawsuit against various parties involved in the incident.
Source: NJ.com, "Civil rights group wants probe into death of Garfield man killed while
fleeing police," S.P. Sullivan, Dec. 15, 2011