The grieving mother of a New Jersey girl killed by a police vehicle demanded answers after the department and prosecutors would not release details on her daughter's death at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Though officials would not name the girl, her family identified her as 17-year-old Narreada Robles. She was near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and East State Street in Camden shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday when she was struck by the Camden County Police Department vehicle, Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Alexandra McVeigh said.
"I feel dead inside. What they did to my daughter isn't fair," a weeping Lidia Robles said as she and other family members gathered to place candles and flowers at the site of the girl's death.
Family said the teen had just exited a bus near the intersection when she was struck. "They dragged her," said aunt Brenda Carter as she pointed to a streak of blood on the pavement.
Authorities have released few details about the crash, but McVeigh said the officer was responding to a call and had the cruiser's lights on at the time of the crash. However, McVeigh did not mention whether or not the vehicle's sirens were also on.
"The policy is that any time that an officer is responding to an emergency call for service, depending upon the situation, generally they'll have their overheads activated to signal a warning to the motorized public at large, and people at different points in time - depending upon the call - they'll have their sirens activated as well," Camden County Police Department Chief Scott Thomson said.
Thomson said the department's police vehicles have a "black box" of sorts that officials can use to determine which vehicle functions were activated. He added that the department will be working with city and county officials moving forward to determine safety measures at the intersection where the crash happened. One such measure could include a traffic light, he said.
But that answer did not did not satisfy the girl's mother, who, along with family, is demanding that the department release dashcam video of the crash.
"I want justice for my daughter. That's all I want," Lidia Robles said.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Narreada Robles was a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School. Family members said she was an example to her younger siblings and was planning on attending college after graduation. Grief counselors were made available for students at her school.
The officer was placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.