Fresh fury as police kill black man in New Jersey

A US police video of officers fatally shooting a black man in New Jersey has stirred anger over another death at the hands of police.

Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley stopped the car for an apparent traffic violation. Pictures: AP
Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley stopped the car for an apparent traffic violation. Pictures: AP

The video of the 30 December killing of Jerame Reid in Bridgeton, a working class city of 25,000 people south of Philadelphia, has been released this week.

Conrad Benedetto, a lawyer hired by Mr Reid’s wife to investigate, says the video footage “raises serious questions” about the legality and reasonableness of the officers’ actions because Mr Reid was shot as he raised his hands.

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The footage from a police dashboard camera shows officers stop a Jaguar and the situation quickly escalate after one warns his partner about seeing a gun in the glove compartment.

Officer Braheme Days screams over and over at the passenger, Jerame Reid, “Show me your hands!” and “If you reach for something, you’re going to be f***ing dead!” The officer appears to reach into the car and remove the gun, but the standoff ends with Mr Reid disregarding Mr Days’ order to not move, stepping out and getting shot.

The shooting has touched off protests in Bridgeton. The case came after months of turbulent demonstrations and violence over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri. Eric Garner’s death in New York was also captured on video.

Mr Days is black, his partner Roger Worley is white. The passenger and driver were black. Both officers have been put on leave as the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office investigates.

Activists are calling on the prosecutor to transfer the case to the state attorney general. First Assistant Prosecutor Harold Shapiro would not comment on the investigation this week.

“The video speaks for itself, that at no point was Jerame Reid a threat and he possessed no weapon on his person,” said Walter Hudson, chair and founder of civil rights group the National Awareness Alliance. “He complied with the officer and the officer shot him.”

Mr Reid, 36, had spent about 13 years in prison for shooting at New Jersey State Police troopers when he was a teenager. He was also arrested last year on charges including drug possession and obstruction; Mr Days was one of the arresting officers then.

The video was released after requests from the South Jersey Times and Press of Atlantic City.

The officers had pulled the Jaguar over for ignoring a stop sign, and the encounter starts in a friendly manner. Then Mr Days steps back, pulls his gun and tells the men, “Show me your hands.” Mr Days tells his partner there is a gun in the glove compartment and appears to reach in and remove a handgun.

The driver, Leroy Tutt, is seen showing his hands atop the open window on his side of the car. Mr Days repeatedly warns Mr Reid not to move. “I’m going to shoot you!” Mr Days shouts, referring to Mr Reid at one point by his first name. “If you reach for something, you’re going to be f***ing dead!”

As Mr Days continues to yell to his partner that Mr Reid is reaching for something, Mr Reid says: “I ain’t got no reason to reach for nothing, bro. I ain’t got no reason to reach for nothing.”

Someone says, “I’m getting out and getting on the ground,” but Mr Days yells at Mr Reid not to move. The passenger door opens and Mr Reid emerges. His hands are at shoulder height and appear empty. As he steps out, the officers fire at least six shots. ­Afterwards, there are shouts from people, and other police and emergency vehicles arrive.