A person who was fatally shot by a police officer in Old Bridge earlier this 12 months was holding a knife on the time and ran down a staircase with the weapon in his fingers earlier than the officer opened hearth, in keeping with video footage launched by investigators Tuesday.
An announcement from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating of the taking pictures, stated police responded to a 911 name concerning a dispute at 3:09 p.m. on April 24 at a house on Woodland Avenue within the Laurence Harbor part of city.
Previous Bridge police Officer Christopher Hammel was met on the door by an unidentified girl, who instructed him 26-year-old Luke Mendez was upstairs, in keeping with police body-camera footage launched by the Lawyer Common’s Workplace.
The video reveals no less than two different individuals inside the home and so they start having a dialogue about whether or not or not the lady was justified in putting cameras inside the house. One of many different residents may be heard saying the lady was “threatening (Mendez) with the cops.”
In an audio of the 911 name supplied by the Lawyer Common’s Workplace, the lady may be heard telling police she desires Mendez out of the home.
Because the officer calls up the steps for Mendez, he appeared on the prime of the staircase and is holding a big knife, the video footage reveals. Hammel instructed him to place it down and when Mendez doesn’t, the officer pulls out his gun and tells him to “loosen up.”
“Put the knife down and get down on the ground,” Hammel may be heard saying within the body-cam video. “That you must put it down and let me discuss to you.”
He requested Mendez why he’s upset, however he doesn’t reply the officer, who continues to attempt to persuade him to drop the knife for about two minutes earlier than Mendez out of the blue ran down the steps with the knife in his hand.
Hammel fired three photographs as Mendez reached the underside of the steps, the video reveals.
Hammel moved the knife away from Mendez, referred to as for backup and medics, and may be seen putting his fingers on the gunshot wounds earlier than the video stops.
The video blurred out the faces of a number of individuals in the home and components of the taking pictures scene.
Mendez was taken to Previous Bridge Medical Heart, the place he was pronounced lifeless at 4:47 p.m., authorities stated.
The Lawyer Common’s Workplace investigates any incident wherein an individual is killed by a police officer or dies whereas in police custody. As soon as the investigation is over, the case shall be introduced to a grand jury, which can decide if the officer was justified in his choice or if felony expenses needs to be filed.
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Chris Sheldon could also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.