New Jersey

Wife of New Jersey Man Whose Killing by Police Was Caught on Video Sues

The wife of a New Jersey man whose fatal shooting by police during a traffic stop was caught on video has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Lawanda Reid filed the suit Wednesday in Camden, saying the Bridgeton Police Department and the city condone excessive force by officers.

The city solicitor didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

The suit seeks $1 million in damages. It comes after her husband was killed by two Bridgeton officers Dec. 30.

Police dashboard camera footage shows two officers warn Jerame Reid not to move in the passenger seat. He then steps out of the car, raising his hands, and the officers fire at least six shots, killing him.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said Bridgeton police officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley both shot one of two people who were in the stopped Jaguar at South Avenue and Henry Street

"If you reach for something you're going to be dead," an officer can be heard saying.

Officials identified the car's driver as Leroy Tutt. He was questioned in connection to the shooting but was not charged. In the nearly 5-minute long dashcam video he can be seen getting out of the car and being handcuffed following the shooting. Tutt was jailed in June, 2011 for failure to appear in court on a revoked license.

The video first shows Officer Worley and Officer Days pulling Tutt and Reid over. Days walks up to the passenger side of the vehicle, where Reid is sitting, and informs the two men they were pulled over because Tutt ran through a stop sign on S Pine Street. Days then asks to see a driver's license.

Suddenly Days pulls out his weapon, points it at Reid and repeatedly screams, "show me your hands" and "don't move."

Officer Worley runs toward the driver's side of the vehicle with his own weapon raised. Tutt can be seen raising his hands out of the vehicle. It's unclear from the video however whether Reid is raising his hands as well.

"Get him out the car Rog," Days tells his partner. "We've got a gun in his glove compartment." 

Days once again tells Reid not to move, opens the door and takes a silver object, which appears to be a gun, out of the car. Days then again repeatedly tells Reid not to move and to show him his hands.

"I'm gonna shoot ya!" Days screams. "You're gonna be f****** dead! I'm telling you! if you reach for something you're gonna be f****** dead! I'm telling you! I'm telling you! Keep your f****** hands right there! Eh, eh, Jerome, if you reach for something you're gonna be f****** dead! He's reaching! He's reaching! Show me your f****** hands!

Reid responds to Days though it's unclear from the video what exactly he's saying.

"No you're not!" Days responds. "No you're not! No you're not! Don't f****** move!" 

Days then backs away with his gun still raised. Reid then gets out of the car and appears to have at least one of his hands raised. He takes a step toward Days who then opens fire. Worley opens fire as well. In the video at least six shots are heard.

After Reid drops to the ground, the officers tell Tutt to get out of the car and drop to the ground, which Tutt does. Several people are then heard shouting in the background as police handcuff Tutt.

Webb-McRae said a handgun "was revealed and later recovered" from the Jaguar. Her office did not return a call or email seeking more details on the shooting.

The officers have since been placed on paid leave, said Bridgeton Police Chief Mark Ott.

After the shooting, Lawanda Reid called for an independent investigation and said she planned her own autopsy of her husband's body.

Jerame Reid had a 3-month-old son, according to his cousin Keesha Springs. He was also incarcerated last summer for possession of heroin, cocaine, contempt of court and resisting arrest. Days was one of the officers who arrested Reid on the drug charges, according to the South Jersey Times.

The South Jersey Times also reports Reid spent 13 years in state prison for shooting at three New Jersey State Police troopers when he was a teenager.

Family members said he was trying to turn his life around.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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