Home>Feature>Maurice Gordon interacted with law enforcement three times on morning of fatal shooting

Maurice Gordon interacted with law enforcement three times on morning of fatal shooting

Murphy says matter will be presented to a grand jury

By Nikita Biryukov, June 08 2020 4:50 pm

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on Monday released dash cam video captured by multiple police officers who interacted with Maurice Gordon before he was killed by State Police Sgt. Randall Wetzel.

Wetzel pulled Gordon over for speeding on the Garden State Parkway, where he was allegedly driving 110 mph, according to the Attorney General’s office. Following the stop, Gordon’s vehicle became disabled, and Wetzel asked if Gordon would prefer to wait in the back seat of his police cruiser.

Video depicts the Gordon, who is black, sitting there for roughly 20 minutes before being he was handed a cloth face mask. Moments after he received the mask, Gordon got out of the vehicle and a struggle ensued between him and Wetzel.

Because of the camera’s position, the struggle is mostly obscured, though Wetzel is heard repeatedly telling Gordon to “Get in the fucking car.”

The Attorney General’s Office said Gordon twice tried to enter the driver’s seat of the police vehicle. During the first, the authorities said, Wetzel pepper-sprayed Gordon.

During the second, Wetzel is seen pulling Gordon away from the vehicle before the two engage in a struggle, during which Wetzel fires six shots.

The investigation into Gordon’s shooting is still ongoing and is being conducted by an independent prosecutor, as required by state law.

New Jersey statute also requires that incidents involving fatal use of force be presented to a grand jury. Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said Gordon’s shooting will follow that same track.

Gordon had interacted with the police three times in the hours leading up to his death.

He first made contact with police around 3:13 AM, when an off-duty Red Bank police officer found Gordon’s car, which had run out of gas, stopped in the middle lane of the southbound Garden State Parkway.

The officer called a tow truck and received assistance from two state troopers, one of whom was off-duty in a civilian vehicle.

At about 4:54 AM, a different state trooper found Gordon’s vehicle stopped in the left lane near Parkway exit 72. The trooper laid out flares, called a tow truck and left, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Before the tow truck arrived, a civilian vehicle drove Gordon to a nearby Wawa, where he purchased gas before returning to his vehicle and continuing south along the Parkway.

Gordon was stopped by a state trooper — it is not clear if Gordon and this trooper interacted earlier in the night — for speeding at 6:13 AM. He was allegedly driving 101 mph.

At about 3:23 AM, Gordon’s friend had called 911 from Poughkeepsie, New York to express concerns about his whereabouts.  That call was transferred to the Poughkeepsie Police Department.

Note: Video and audio recordings and other materials released by the Attorney General’s Office Monday can be found here.


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