Video Of NJ Police Shooting Of Black Man Leads To More Questions
With the dashboard camera in their cruiser rolling, police pulled a Jaguar over for running a stop sign on a dark New Jersey night. But things suddenly turned tense when one of the officers warned his partner that he could see a gun in the glove compartment.
On Friday, Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel took an in depth look at the events leading up to the shooting death of 36-year-old Jerame Reid by the hands of Bridgeton, NJ police officers.
As Martin and the panel reviewed the police dash cam video of the traffic stop and subsequent shooting, “NewsOne Now” panelist Raynard Jackson said, “We got to have some context” about this incident. “You have the policeman on the driver’s side, the White policeman (Roger Worley), barking out some orders to the people in the car. You have the policeman (Braheme Days) on the passenger’s side barking out some orders … so you got all this going on in real time.” Jackson later added, “There is a lot of confusion going on.”
Dru Ealons, questioned why the Bridgeton officers “went straight to the car with guns pulled.” She said, “Was there an automatic assumption that Reid was already in the car.”
Reid spent nearly 13 years in prison for shooting at three state troopers when he was a teenager. Officer Days knew who he was prior to the fatal traffic stop and was among the arresting officers last year when Reid was charged with several crimes, including drug possession and obstruction.
There are many unanswered questions about the Jerame Reid police shooting. Was this a case of a traffic stop gone bad? Did the Bridgeton police officers target Reid as a result of knowing his past crimes? Did racial profiling play a part in the stop and shooting? Why did Reid get out of the vehicle with his hands up as officers yelled different sets of orders? Why was the video originally released by Bridgeton police edited leaving out several minutes of footage? Was the officer who opened fire in reasonable fear of his life? Did the officer have to shoot Reid multiple times despite Reid not having a weapon in his hands? Did the officers have a right to shoot Reid because he disobeyed Officer Days command and got out of the car?
Parents Of Kendrick Johnson Push For New Legislation
The parents of Kendrick Johnson, Attorney Benjamin Crump and community activist Marcus Coleman joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss a new piece of legislation that would require all coroners in the United States to be medically licensed professionals.
Attorney Crump told Martin “coroners in most states in America only need a GED and win a popular election and they get to determine the manner and cause of death” of an individual who has died.
Crump went on to say they are working with National Association of Medical Examiners who want the qualifications “more sufficient for the person who is making such an important determination.” He added those individuals who perform the duties of a coroner should have a medical background.
“Many times these people (coroners) have high school diplomas, won the election, work real close with the police and whatever the police say — they kind of rubber stamp it,” Crump said. “It’s just wrong, because if they say it’s not a homicide, if it’s a suicide or something like this case where they say [Kendrick Johnson] did it himself — this stops. The prosecutor doesn’t do anything else and say, ‘well we’re sorry your son is gone and we move on to the next thing.'”
“Kendrick’s Law,” as it is being called, would put an end to the scenario described by Crump and require all coroners to be properly credentialed.
Last week, the Johnson family filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Lowndes County School District., members of the the Valdosta Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.
Kendrick’s mother, Jacquelyn Johnson, told Martin the Lowndes County School District has not “said one word to us” in regards to the death of her son.
Community activist, Marcus Coleman considers the lack of cooperation from the Lowndes School District in turning over the original hard drives containing video surveillance footage of the gym where Johnson was found dead, “a game.” He told Martin, they are anticipating a federal court ruling that would force the school district to turn over the hard drives so “we can see exactly what the U.S. Attorney is seeing.”
“Two years later we still fighting, seeking for the truth about what happened to my son. That’s all we ever asked for was the truth about what happened,” said Mrs. Johnson.
Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick’s father said, “We can’t continue to go on living our lives with us not being able to tell our other kids what exactly happened to their brother because they want to know.”
“NewsOne Now” Jam Session With Gerald Albright And Uncle Charlie Wilson
Albright laid down some mean sax from the title track of his new album, “Slam Dunk.” As Martin would say, he brought the funk!
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.