A police dashboard camera from a December 30 police-involved shooting shows a black suspect raising his hands before he was shot by Bridgeton police officers. The incident has ignited protests from residents, two-thirds of them black or Hispanic.
According to ABC News, the incident quickly escalated after two police officers, one white and one black, made a traffic stop involving a black driver and passenger. During a time of racial tensions across the nation over police-involved shootings, the officers shot dead the black passenger after he disobeyed an order to not move.
Bridgeton police officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley pulled over Leroy Tutt for rolling his Jaguar through a stop sign. Although things started out pleasant, it quickly deteriorated as Days suddenly steps back and, while pointing his gun at the men, yells, “Show me your hands!” He proceeds to tell Worley that there is a gun in the glove compartment. The video appears to show him reaching in and removing the weapon.
While Tutt is seen showing his hands through the open window on his side of the car, it is unclear what his passenger Jerame Reid is doing. Days is heard repeatedly warning Reid not to move. At one point, you can hear him saying, “If you reach for something, you’re going to be f—— dead!”
But before the two minute encounter ends, Reid disregards the warnings and steps out of the vehicle and is shot. In the video, he can be seen with his hands raised at shoulder height as he exits the vehicle.
ABC News reported that the video was released through an open records request from the South Jersey Times and the Press of Atlantic City.
Activists are demanding action. They have requested that the prosecutor’s office transfer the case to the state attorney general as County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McCrae has disqualified herself from the case. She knows Days and acknowledges it would be a conflict in interest if she was to work on the investigation.
Walter Hudson, chair and founder of the civil rights group called the National Awareness Alliance said, “The video speaks for itself that at no point was Jerame Reid a threat and he possessed no weapon on his person. He complied with the officer and the officer shot him.”
Reid had served 13 years in prison while a teenager for shooting at New Jersey State Police troopers. He was most recently arrested last year on charges of drug possession and obstruction. Days happened to be one of the arresting officers during Reid’s latest arrest.
Both Days and Worley have been placed on leave while the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office investigates the case.