The two New Jersey police officers who fatally shot Jerame Reid will not face criminal charges. A grand jury cleared them Wednesday in the December 2014 shooting, which was captured on their patrol car’s dashboard camera, AP reports.
What began as a traffic stop for running through a stop sign escalated when Bridgeton Officer Braheme Days warned his partner, Officer Roger Worley, that he saw a gun and that the passenger, Reid, was reaching for something. Reid reportedly disregarded Days’ order not to move and got out of the vehicle with his hands raised at shoulder height when he was shot several times.
According to a statement from the prosecutor's office, the officers said they feared for their lives, according to AP. The officers had previously arrested Reid, 36, in August 2014 for resisting arrest. They also knew that he had been convicted as a teenager and served 13 years for shooting at state troopers, the news report adds.
Reid’s widow, Lawanda Reid, told NJ.com that she’s “disgusted” by the grand jury’s decision. “I’m embarrassed to be a citizen of Bridgeton,” she added, in what was a very emotional interview, according to NJ.com.
The incident fueled anger over policing in black communities. In this case, one of the policemen, Days, is black. The other officer is white.
The National Awareness Alliance led protests over the shooting. Its chairman, Walter Hudson, said that the grand jury’s decision didn’t surprise him, according to AP.
“What is surprising about this case is the fact it took this long to arrive at an already preconceived idea to not indict police officers. The culture of policing in America clearly shows we must push for police reform,” said Hudson, who’s now calling for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.
Lawanda Reid filed a wrongful death and federal civil rights lawsuit against Bridgeton and the two officers earlier this year.