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AG Releases Limited-View Video Of Clifton Police Car Striking, Killing Pedestrian, 65

Nest video shows corner of Allwood and Brookwood roads in Clifton where Oct. 22 crash occurred.
Nest video shows corner of Allwood and Brookwood roads in Clifton where Oct. 22 crash occurred. Photo Credit: NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL

A limited-view home surveillance video of a pedestrian being struck and killed by a Clifton police cruiser headed to a call was released Wednesday by New Jersey’s chief law enforcer.

Officer Garrell Middleton was "responding to a radio alert of a crime in progress with the emergency lights on his patrol vehicle activated" when it struck the woman while making a turn at the intersection of Allwood and Brookwood Road at 7:11 p.m. Oct. 22, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.

The officer rendered aid to the 65-year-old victim before EMS personnel took her to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where she was pronounced dead at 7:42 p.m.

Grewal said he released the Nest video under a directive he issued last year, which “governs use-of-force investigations and investigations of any death that occurs in the custody of law enforcement or during an encounter with a law enforcement officer in New Jersey.

“The directive requires that such records, if requested, be released to the public once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete, which is the case in this matter,” he said.

State law requires such a probe when a person’s death "occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody," he said.

“Other video and audio recordings were sought and obtained by investigators, but the one released [Wednesday] is the only one that captured the fatal encounter,” the attorney general said.

“Prior to today’s release, investigators provided the video recording to the victim’s representative and relatives for their review,” he noted.

The recording is posted here: Clifton Fatal Police-Involved MVA

Once his detectives complete their investigation -- which Grewal said is being done “fully, fairly, and independently of any potential bias” – the results will be presented to a grand jury, as required by state law and an “independent prosecutor” directive.

The grand jurors will “make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed,” he said.

That could take awhile. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented grand juries from convening in New Jersey.

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