BRIDGETON — The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has concluded its investigation into the Dec. 30 police-involved shooting of Jerame Reid, according to officials close to the case.
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on May 23, 2015 at 7:35 AM, updated May 23, 2015 at 1:06 PM
A source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office sent documents and other material related to the investigation to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for review.
The review is standard procedure in this type of investigation, according to an official with knowledge of the case.
Officials were unable to provide a time frame as to when results of the investigation would be released.
It’s been almost five months since Reid, 36, was shot and killed by Bridgeton police officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley on the night of Dec. 30 during a traffic stop near the intersection of South Avenue and Henry Street.
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office was in charge of investigating the use of deadly force in the shooting, which was captured by a police dashboard camera. Days is heard on camera saying Reid was reaching for a gun in the glovebox moments before he is shot.
When asked if the attorney general’s office was reviewing the matter, Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said by email: “The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office remains the lead investigating agency. No further comment.”
Cumberland County First Assistant Prosecutor Harold Shapiro, who was placed in charge of the investigation, declined to comment.
Days and Worley remain on paid administrative leave.
Anger from delay
Family members of Reid say they continue to live with unremitting frustration the longer the investigation drags on.
“It’s taking way too long,” said Reid’s mother, Shelia Reid, 57, of Newark in Essex County. “It’s awful because I don’t know what is going on. Nobody is telling me nothing.”
She added: “It’s like I’m pushed to the curb, pushed to the side.”
Reid’s brother, Sean Reid, 37, also of Newark, said his family is desperate for answers.
“They haven’t told us anything new since he was killed,” said Sean Reid, referring to investigators involved in the case. “We haven’t gotten any closure.”
The fatal shooting caused outrage among the community, and several protest rallies were held earlier this year demanding justice for Reid.
Widow’s wrongful death lawsuit
While the outcome of the investigation is still in the hands of state investigators, two separate lawsuits surrounding Reid and his death remain ongoing.
Lawanda Hartsfield-Reid, 37, of Upper Deerfield Township, filed a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit in March seeking more than $1 million stemming from his death.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers used unreasonable and excessive force in the shooting.
A scheduling conference in that matter was recently held in Camden federal court, according to Hartsfield-Reid’s attorney Conrad Benedetto, of Philadelphia.
Benedetto said the lawsuit is in the early stages. The next phase is a pretrial hearing.
However, Benedetto said the state’s final judgment in the shooting is vital to advancing the civil action.
“In terms of having this thing move forward in a way fair to all sides, we got to get the results of this investigation … some determination that we can base our further investigation on and further discovery,” Benedetto said.
Benedetto said Reid’s wife and family remain “distraught” from “still being kept in the dark after five months.”
“We are five months after this shooting and we don’t have anything from the prosecutor’s office or attorney general’s office whether … any conclusions or results they have made or drawn from (in) their five months (of) investigation,” Benedetto said.
According to Benedetto, attorneys representing the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and both Days and Worley were present at the conference.
Reid’s lawsuit before death
A trial has been set for sometime in late September in a separate lawsuit that Reid had pending against Cumberland County at the time of his death. Reid — who filed the lawsuit in 2011 — claimed that he was assaulted by corrections officers while serving time in the county jail in 2009.
The lawsuit seeks at least $100,000 in damages and names the county, Cumberland County Department of Corrections, Warden Robert Balicki, and three corrections officers: Victor Bermudez, John Zamot and John Ballard.
Mark Frost, of the Philadelphia-based law firm, Mark B. Frost & Associates, is representing Reid in the lawsuit
Originally Posted at http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2015/05/prosecutors_office_concludes_investigation_into_nj.html