Atlantic County

No Charges For Officers Who Shot, Killed Man in Ventnor in 2020

Criminal charges will not be filed against officers who shot and killed man

Police officers stand outside their cruisers on a road in Ventnor, New Jersey, as a mail truck is stopped nearby.

No charges will be filed against police officers who shot and killed a man who investigators said cut himself and was holding a broken glass bottle in Ventnor, New Jersey, in 2020.

A grand jury made the decision to not file charges against the three officers who shot and killed 30-Year-Old Amir Johnson of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. The grand jury’s decision was made public Tuesday by the state attorney general’s office.

According to the AG’s investigation, officers from the Ventnor and Atlantic City police departments responded to a call of a man acting erratically near Wellington Avenue and West End Avenue in August of 2020.

When they arrived, Johnson was walking in and out of a marshy area near the roadway. Johnson had self-inflicted cuts to his arms and neck as he held a broken glass bottle, according to the investigation.

The investigation concluded that police offered Johnson assistance, but he refused. Police said the man continued to walk in and out of the roadway, which they closed down. For several minutes the man threated to inflict additional self-harm, according to the AG’s investigation.

One officer tried to deploy a Taser, which the investigation said was unsuccessful. According to the investigation, police officers said Johnson was near a vehicle occupied by civilians when he rapidly advanced at officers with the broken bottle in his hand.

Three officers fired their weapons, shooting Johnson multiple times. He was rushed by ambulance to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Atlantic City campus, where he was pronounced dead.

The grand jury found that the actions of officers Michael Arena, Pierluigi Mancuso and Robert Scarborough should not result in criminal charges.

A 2019 law requires the attorney general’s office to conduct an investigation if a person dies during an encounter with police or if they're in police custody. The law also requires the evidence to be taken to a grand jury to determine if there should be an indictment against the officers involved.

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