The Bridgeton NJ police department has released dash camera video of the shooting of violent felon Jerame Reid by two of its police officers during a traffic stop, reports NBC 4 news in New York.  Both Reid and the officer who first shot him, Behame Days, are black.  Days’ partner, Officer Roger Worley, who is white, also shot Reid after the gunfire began.

The South Jersey Times reports that last summer Officer Days was involved in the arrest of Reid for heroin and cocaine possession, and resisting arrest. The same source reports that Reid has previously served thirteen years in prison for shooting at New Jersey State Police Officers.

Given Day’s previous experience in arresting a non-compliant Reid it seems quite possible that he would have been aware of Reid’s history of shooting at police, knowledge which would naturally have contributed to his reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm at the hands of the once again non-compliant suspect.

The video begins with the suspect vehicle, in which Reid was the passenger, making a rolling left turn through a stop sign (0:06) while directly in front of the patrol car occupied by officers Worley (driving) and Days.  This immediately initiated the traffic stop (0:22), which begins amiably enough with a typical verbal exchange (0:36), but degenerates into Days drawing his service weapon within 22 seconds of his first words with the suspects (0:58).

Interestingly, about 14 seconds into this conversation (0:50), until which Days had been speaking with the driver, the officer says “‘sup, man,” which suggests to me that he’d recognized passenger Reid from their prior encounters.  This would, naturally, have heightened Days’ concern of danger, given Reid’s known history of deadly violence towards police.

The instant Days draws his weapon (0:58) he begins repeatedly shouting at Reid “show me your hands,” the repetition obviously indicating non-compliance. The driver of the suspect vehicle, Leroy Tuft, more prudently puts his empty hands and arms out the drivers side window.  Tuft is immediately held at gunpoint by Officer Worley (whom, the trainer in me feels obliged to note, demonstrates excellent trigger finger discipline), while Days continues to verbally engage the persistently non-compliant Reid.

From the moment Day’s weapon is drawn until the shots are fired, only Days’ voice is intelligible in the recording:

0:58 [Gray’s weapon drawn]

Show me your hands!

1:00 Show me your f*cking hands!

Show me your hands!

Don’t f*cking move!

Don’t you f*cking move!

Don’t you f*cking move!

1:05 Get ’em out of the car Rodg [Worley], we got a gun in his glove compartment.

1:10 Dong’t you f*cking move!

Don’t you f*cking move!!!

1:10 Show me your f*cking hands!

Show me your hands!

don’g you f*cking move1

Don’t you–

1:22 I tell you, I’m gonna shoot you!

You’re going to be f*cking dead!

I’m telling you!

You reach for something you’re going to be f*cking dead!

I’m telling you!

1:30 I’m telling you!

Keep you f*cking hands right there!

Ain’t your phone!

You reach for something you’re going to be f*cking dead!

He’s reaching, he’s reaching!

Show me your f*cking hands!

No you’re not, no you’re not, no you’re not!

Don’t f*cking move!

1:45 DAYS BACKS UP RAPIDLY.

1:46 REID EMERGES FROM CAR FACING DAYS, RIGHT HAND HELD BEFORE HIM CHEST-HIGH.

1:46 DAYS FIRES SIX RAPID SHOTS.WORLEY FIRES ONCE. REID FALLS.

1:47 GUN FIRE CEASES

Here’s a screen cap of the video at the moment Days begins firing at the advancing Reid:

Jerame Reid first shot small

That’s Reid on the right, extending his right hand towards Days, much as he likely did when he fired his gun at the New Jersey State Police prior to serving his 13 years in prison for that earlier offense.

A gun was recovered from the suspect car.

No news yet on whether USAG Holder intends to initiate a Federal civil rights investigation of Officers Days and Worley specifically or the Bridgeton NJ police department in general.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.