Jajuan Henderson’s lawyer announced he’s suing the city.
Per the report, Henderson, 29, was visiting his daughter’s mother in South Trenton on Feb 12. While reaching in his car for his phone, a group of officers cornered him.
Seconds later, the men, “appearing as any other group of dangerous criminals from a horror movie,” were smashing his window and then shot him several times, his lawyers said. Henderson survived, but is paralyzed from the chest down.
“This incident and incidents like it are all too familiar. These officers — sworn to protect and serve all —rushed to execution. These officers devalued the life of another Black man,” said Richard Smith, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, reading a statement that is also the introduction of the suit, filed in Superior Court of Mercer County.
A Mercer County detective said cops stopped Henderson in a traffic stop. Henderson was allegedly uncooperative and wouldn’t roll down his window completely, leading officers to break it open, per the body camera footage. Once the window was broken, Henderson allegedly attempted to drive away, crashing into another vehicle. Henderson was also alleged to repeatedly reach into his passenger compartments and under the seats.
It is not clear when the officers fired shots at him, but he suffered four gunshot wounds to the back and neck.
Henderson was reported to have four prior aggravated assault charges which have been dismissed by the prosecutor’s office. The allegations stated Henderson had tried to “run down” the officers who shot him. The prosecutor’s office spokesperson declined to provide NJ.com with further details on the matter. Henderson may still face charges for resisting arrest and obstruction, reported NJ.com.
Lawyers for Henderson and his mother, Gia, spoke out on his behalf at a press event, reported NJ.com. Gia Henderson who had recently lost another son said “her heart almost broke” when she heard about this case.
“We want justice for Jajuan. We want change, transparency and accountability,” she said, via NJ.com.
It has not been determined when the body camera footage will be released to the public and the city’s investigation into the incident and officers’ use of force has begun.