A New Jersey cop shot and killed an unarmed man with his hands held to his chest as he was stepping out of a car during a traffic stop in an incident captured on dash cam, the latest video to highlight how quickly police resort to shooting even if there is no obvious threat.
The video pretty much speaks for itself, showing a pair of Bridgeton police officers opening fire on a man named Jerame Reid, who had stepped out of the passenger’s seat with his hands raised to his chest level.
The incident took place December 30 after police pulled a pair of men over for running a stop sign. We reported on it a few days later after numerous witnesses, including a retired deputy, said the shooting was unjustified.
“They shot him. They shot the boy… He was trying to get back in the car,” said retired deputy, Ben Mosley. “I saw a disarmed man go down to the ground and get shot. That’s exactly what I saw.”
The Bridgeton Police Department reluctantly released the video Tuesday after a public records request from the Press of Atlantic City.
Had it not been up to the state’s Open Public Records Act, the police department said it would have kept the video secret “out of respect for the family of Jerame Reid, basic human dignity and to protect the constitutional rights of those involved.”
But the video shows they didn’t show much respect towards Reid’s basic human dignity and Constitutional rights when they opened fire on the 36-year-old man.
In fact, officer Braheme Days comes across extremely agitated and high strung, not much different than the Montana cop who shot and killed another man in a video released earlier this month.
But that was probably a reaction to Days spotting a gun in the car’s glove compartment after he had asked for a driver’s license.
However, Days removed the gun from the glove compartment at 1:11 after telling the other officer who was standing on the other side, “get him out of the car, Rog,” in reference to the driver, who had his stands sticking out the window.
“You reach for something, you’re going to be dead,” Days yells at Reid, getting more agitated by the second. “He’s reaching, he’s reaching!”
Reid then begins to open the door to step out of the car, apparently in an attempt to show the cop that he was not going to reach for anything in the car.
But that just made Days even more agitated.
“No, you’re not, no, you’re not!” Days yells as he backs away.
Reid was barely out of the car with his hands towards his chest when he shot multiple times by both cops.
Portions of the audio go silent as Day is yelling orders, perhaps a technical glitch or maybe something more deliberate.
Like the Montana video, the dash cam video doesn’t show exactly what the passenger in the car was doing with his hands, but it does show a highly agitated cop barking orders at the top of his lungs with a gun drawn, threatening to kill a citizen, which might make people nervous and confused, especially when the orders might come across as contradictory, including the part where Days is yelling, “show me your hands, don’t you move.”
Unless one is already showing their hands, it would be impossible to do so without moving their hands. The confusion could be further heightened by the fact that Days ordered his partner to get the driver out of the car about 30 seconds before Reid attempted to step out, making Reid think he was expected to step out of the car.
In fact, a witness told the local media that police were ordering him to step out of the car, but that does not appear in the video they released.
According to CBS Philadelphia:
Witnesses said the scene was chaotic after the shooting and Reid, described as the passenger by witnesses, was shot after he was ordered to get out of the car.
Denzel Mosley, 17, said he watched the scene unfold from the attic of his house, which is on the corner of the street in front of where the shooting happened. He said both of Reid’s hands were in “plain sight” and he didn’t see a gun.
“They were telling him, ‘Get out the car,’” he said. “They (police) was like ‘Stop!’ and they started shooting.”
Also it is difficult to hear on the video, Yahoo is reporting that Reid was trying to assure Days he was not reaching for anything.
Days tells his partner, “He’s reaching for something.”
Faintly on the video, Reid can be heard telling the officer, “I ain’t doing nothing. I’m not reaching for nothing, bro. I ain’t got no reason to reach for nothing.”
The officer again orders Reid not to move. Seconds later, Reid emerges from the car, raising his hands, which appear to be empty. Both officers fire immediately, shooting at least six rounds.
Other than this statement, a portion published below, the Bridgeton Police Department offered no further comment.
“In absence of the OPRA request this video would not be released to the public out of respect for the family of Jerame Reid, basic human dignity and to protect the constitutional rights of those involved,” the statement reads. “This agency is obligated to comply with all the laws of the United States and the state of New Jersey and based on those laws, we find that keeping this video from the public would be contrary to recent legal decisions concerning public records.”
Records show that Reid has a record from two decades ago and that both officers have multiple complaints against them, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Superior Court records and reports in The Press show that Reid, then called Jerome Reid, was 15 years old when he fired three shots at a trio of state troopers in Atlantic County in March 1994. Reid eventually was sentenced to 15 years in state prison on a charge of criminal attempted homicide.
The dashboard camera video seems to indicate that Days knew Reid. Days calls Reid by the name “Jerome” at one point during the incident.
City residents have also filed nine Municipal Court complaints, all essentially charging Days and Worley with harrassment. All the complaints were dismissed.
Below is the dash cam video along with a video recorded by somebody from an upstairs window, capturing the aftermath of the shooting.