“#Video shows struggle before NJ trooper fatally shot Maurice Gordon”
June 9, 2020 | 1:39pm
The footage, released Monday by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, is among 12 audio and video recordings from a May 23 traffic stop showing Maurice Gordon, 28, struggling with state police Sgt. Randall Wetzel after he was pulled over in Bass River.
Wetzel had pulled over Gordon, of Poughkeepsie, for allegedly driving 110 mph. Wetzel then told Gordon to move his car, but Gordon’s vehicle wouldn’t start, video shows.
As they waited for a tow truck to arrive, Wetzel invited Gordon to sit in the back of his patrol car, which he did.
Some 21 minutes later, Gordon is seen unbuckling his seatbelt and exiting the vehicle as Sgt. Wetzel attempted to hand him a face mask, setting off a confrontation.
Wetzel, who was off-camera at the time, can be heard ordering Gordon to get back into the cruiser as the man appeared to try to get into the driver’s side of the police vehicle, video shows.
A struggle on the left shoulder of the Parkway between the pair ensured, with Wetzel using pepper spray on Gordon before firing six times, killing him.
“We got into a fight on the side of the road,” Wetzel can be heard telling another official at the scene. “He tried running into my car. I got him out, sprayed him. We got in a fight again. He ran away from me, tried to hop in my trooper car, grab my gun.”
Gordon was later pronounced dead by a paramedic roughly an hour after the stop, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
A medical examiner has not yet completed Gordon’s autopsy, which will be shared with his family once completed, Grewal said.
The shooting remains under investigation and will be presented to a grand jury to determine whether charges should be filed.
Monday’s release by Grewal’s office came after an attorney for Gordon — a chemistry student at New York’s Dutchess Community College — said key details in the police-involved shooting were difficult to obtain.
Gordon’s mother and sister, meanwhile, said they were “outraged” they were unable to see the audio and video clips prior to them being released.
“They were hurt,” attorney William Wagstaff III told the Burlington County Times. “They were beside themselves. Both of them were in my arms crying uncontrollably. Because of what they felt was the further victimization of this family.”
New Jersey Attorney General’s Office via AP
Grewal’s office made an “unreasonable request” for Gordon’s family to travel from New York to Whippany, New Jersey, on short notice to view the footage in person Monday before it was publicly released, Wagstaff said.
With Post wires
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