FINAL MOMENTS: NJ AG Releases Video Of Foot Pursuit, Arrest Of Newark Man Who Died Soon After

It’s unsettling to watch video of a suspect you know has died. The last moments for Raul DeJesus -- who led Newark police on a foot chase before collapsing near Route 280 two months ago -- are no exception.

Raul L. DeJesus, 43, of Newark
Raul L. DeJesus, 43, of Newark Photo Credit: NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL

A series of videos showing the encounter that preceded DeJesus’s death at University Hospital in Newark were released by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin’s office on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Three of the videos come from police body cameras, one of them worn by the officer who began chasing the 43-year-old Newark native on foot after he ran. Two others graphically document the arrest and the moments that followed as highway traffic barreled by.

It begins as Officer Alberto Vera emerges from his police cruiser -- his body camera recording -- and approaches a hooded DeJesus on Orange Street near the Sidi Supermarket at 3:42 p.m. Jan. 5.

DeJesus was wanted for questioning "in connection with a criminal investigation that had occurred in Paterson on December 10, 2022," Platkin explained, without elaborating.

What the officer and DeJesus initially say to one another either wasn’t recorded or was removed from the video. The end of a question from Vera is barely heard.

“Turn around for what?” DeJesus replies before suddenly taking off on foot.


COMPLETE FOOTAGE from the three Newark PD bodycams and three stationary surveillance cameras can be found here: CLICK to review the recordings


An area surveillance camera provides a clear view of DeJesus running into a backyard above westbound Route 280. 

He climbs a shed and dashes across the roof of a pickup truck and then a sedan to a picket fence.

DeJesus flips over the fence on his stomach, drops to the ground and heads for the highway.

Vera is close behind.

The officer climbs atop the wobbly fence, tries to stand while holding naked tree twigs, then struggles with his balance before plunging face-first – and hard -- into a picnic table.

DeJesus ends up jumping from a highway overpass.

Two police body cameras show DeJesus face-down in leaves and trash on the embankment, not moving, as at least a half-dozen uniformed officers clamber down to him. 

“Don’t you f---ckin’ reach for shit! Show me your f---kin’ hands!” one officer screams while pulling the motionless suspect’s arms behind his back.

“You f---kin’ waste o’ shit,” he says to DeJesus.

The officer has DeJesus under control as another yells “Don’t you move or you’re f---kin’ dead! You move you’re dead! You move you’re dead!”

The first officer turns DeJesus over and gets help from a colleague in an effort to try and stand him up.

But DeJesus is limp. He mouths the words, “I can’t” as his legs give out.

DeJesus lay handcuffed in the leaves alongside the overpass as the officers check his pockets and the surrounding area.

Then they try to get him to stand again. 

“Yo, stop being a bitch,” an officer tells DeJesus when he doesn't.

The officers then grab DeJesus by his clothing and drag him down the embankment to the guardrail.

DeJesus repeatedly winces, telling the officers he can’t breathe.

“You called EMS, right?” one asks another.

The officers prop DeJesus on a guardrail and hold onto him so he doesn’t fall. He continues wincing and drooling before his eyes stay closed.

The officers tell him to relax, that “an ambulance is coming.”

An officer asks him if he wants to sit up or lay down.

“Lay down,” DeJesus replies.

“Ambulance is comin’ – you can lay down on a stretcher,” the same officer then tells him.

Then they bend DeJesus forward and search his pockets for ID.

A throng of officers and others who’ve stopped along the highway gather. Some are recording everything on their phones.

Meanwhile, DeJesus's breathing becomes more shallow as he drifts into incoherence and then unconsciousness.

An officer massages his chest as the wail of an ambulance is finally heard. Other officers encourage DeJesus to hang in.

Then the video ends.

DeJesus "was transported to University Hospital and pronounced deceased at 4:41 p.m.," Platkin said.

That’s a minute short of an hour from when Vera approached him back on Orange Street.

State law and his own guidelines require Platkin's office to investigate deaths that occur “during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody," no matter what the circumstances are.

The guidelines guarantee that the investigation is done “in a full, impartial and transparent manner," removing politics or personal agendas.

Once the investigation by the attorney general's Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is complete, the results are presented to a grand jury.

The grand jury reviews a host of evidence -- including witness interviews, body and dashcam video, and forensic and autopsy results -- to determine whether or not there is cause to suspect any wrongdoing on the part of law enforcement.

“Prior to today’s release, investigators discussed the matter with Mr. DeJesus’ relatives and provided them copies of the recordings to review,” Platkin said Tuesday.


COMPLETE FOOTAGE from three police bodycams and three stationary surveillance cameras can be found here: CLICK to review the recordings


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