Officials Release Video of Man Who Was Shot and Killed by NJ State Trooper

Police dash-cam video and 911 audio out of New Jersey shows the struggle that happened before a police officer shot and killed a 28-year-old unarmed man on May 23.

The chain of events leading up to Maurice Gordon’s death began with his friend in Poughkeepsie, New York, calling 911 around 3:30 a.m. saying Gordon had just left his house “looking panicked.” He told the dispatcher Gordon said “something about having a paranormal experience.”

 Gordon, was pulled over by Sgt. Randall Wetzel for allegedly speeding. Then, his car became disabled and would not start.

According to the attorney general’s office, which is investigating the shooting, Wetzel called for a tow truck and offered to allow Gordon to wait in the back of his patrol car.

Gordon is later seen on video leaving the back of the cruiser. He gets in and out of the back of the car multiple times.

“I keep telling you to do not get out of the car, but you keep hopping out,” Wetzel told Gordon at one point, explaining that he was worried about him getting hit by a passing car.

“Why do you keep taking your seat belt off?” Wetzel asked Gordon. “Just keep it on in case someone hits us from behind.”

At one point, Wetzel asked Gordon if he wanted to wear of face mask. When Gordon said he did, Wetzel got out of the vehicle and walked around to the rear passenger door to hand him one, according to the video footage.

But once he opened the door, Gordon unbuckled his seat belt and bolted from the vehicle. Wetzel can be heard repeatedly yelling at Gordon to get back into the car. A rear-facing camera inside the vehicle captured the two men struggling outside before Gordon appears to break free and attempts to open the driver’s side door and get into the driver’s seat of the patrol car.

Wetzel deployed pepper spray on Gordon and pulled him away from the vehicle. As they tussled at the rear of the patrol car six shots rang out. The footage shows Gordon falling to the ground.

Wetzel is seen in the video handcuffing Gordon and yelling “shots fired” into his mobile radio and asking for EMTs to come to the scene.

The video then shows a trooper picking up Gordon’s body before dropping it and handcuffing him, the attorney said.

“He was cuffed after being shot and manhandled on the floor,” Wagstaff told the newspaper.

It’s unclear whether Gordon died on the side of the Garden State Parkway or at a hospital, Wagstaff said.

The audio and video recordings are part of the attorney general’s investigation of the use of force. Statewide policy requires such recordings be released once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete, typically within 20 days.



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