Newark Police Officer Indicted In Fatal Shooting Following High-Speed Chase

A Newark police officer has been indicted on manslaughter, assault, official misconduct and other charges for shooting and killing a fleeing suspect earlier this year, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday night.

Officer Jovanny Crespo
Officer Jovanny Crespo Photo Credit: Essex County Prosecutor's Office

Crespo was being held at the Essex County jail and was expected to make an initial court appearance tomorrow or Thursday.

Around 11:30 p.m. Jan. 28, a car containing Gregory Griffin, 46, and Andrew Dixon, 35, was stopped at Clinton Avenue and Thomas Street. The officer believed she saw a gun in the vehicle, authorities said.

Griffin and Dixon fled the stop and the officer radioed that the two were believed to be armed. Several police cars joined the chase, including one driven by Officer Hector Ortiz. Crespo was on the passenger side.

Dash cam and body cam video show the two officers chasing Griffin and Dixon through Newark. At three locations during the pursuit, the suspects’ car slows almost to a stop and Crespo is seen jumping out, firing on the front seat at close range. He twice returned to the police car as the chase resumed.

At one point he can be heard urging Ortiz to speed up in order to cut off the fleeing vehicle.

The pursuit ended at 54 Irvine Turner Boulevard, near Kinney Street.

Both Griffin and Dixon were shot in the head. Griffin died at University Hospital from his injuries. No other officers fired during the pursuit, the prosecutor's office said. 

If convicted, Crespo faces up to life in prison.

James Stewart, president of the Newark Fraternal Order of Police, told that the union “supports him and his family,” adding that the full story will come out in court “and not just a portion of events.” 

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