Video of a brief Montclair police chase that ended in a crash killing two passengers from Philadelphia last month was released by New Jersey’s attorney general on Thursday (scroll down for video).
Gregory Dukes, 42, and Cecil Richardson, 47, were killed when a car driven by robbery suspect Todd Hill, 45, also of Philadelphia, crashed on Bloomfield and Ridgewood avenues in Glen Ridge shortly after 4:30 a.m. May 10, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said.
Video released by Platkin shows Hill first stopping the four-door silver Hyundai for police investigating a robbery and then suddenly turning right off Maple Avenue onto Bloomfield Avenue and speeding away.
Montclair Officers Michael Kupchack and Officer Brandon Taylor pursued the vehicle at speeds that Platkin said exceeded 64 miles an hour.
A half-mile later, Hill lost control of the Hyundai, which careened off the roadway and struck a tree near Ridgewood Avenue and the Glen Gazebo.
Dukes and Richardson were pronounced dead at the scene after backups rendered aid, Platkin said. Hill was sent to University Hospital for treatment before being released into police custody, the attorney general said.
Platkin didn't address unconfirmed reports that a handgun and what was characterized as a large amount of cash were found in the vehicle.
State law and his own guidelines require Platkin's staff to investigate all deaths in New Jersey that occur “during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody."
The guidelines guarantee that the investigation by his Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is done “in a full, impartial and transparent manner," removing politics or personal agendas.
Once the investigation is complete, the results are presented to a grand jury, which ordinarily consists of 16 to 23 citizens.
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 was cause to suspect any wrongdoing on the part of law enforcement.
Part of the process includes Platkin’s release Thursday of video footage, a 911 call, and radio communications from the incident.
CLICK HERE for the recordings: Montclair – Dukes, Richardson, Hill
Investigators shared those with family members of Dukes and Richardson before Platkin released them publicly on Thursday.
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