Family Wants Answers Into Police Shooting Of Caribbean Immigrant

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Jamaican Maurice Gordon
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News Americas, MIAMI, Florida, Mon. June 8, 2020: The family of a Caribbean immigrant wants answers into why the 28-year-old was shot to death by a white New Jersey State Police trooper.

Jamaican immigrant Maurice Gordon, 28, of Poughkeepsie, New York, was unarmed and waiting with a white trooper for a tow truck to arrive because his car wouldn’t restart, when he was shot to death on Memorial Day weekend, his attorney told NJ.com.

On May 23rd, the chemistry student and a driver for UberEats was killed on the parkway in Burlington County two days before the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Attorney William O. Wagstaff III, told the paper that Gordon was stopped by a trooper in Bass River Township for a speeding violation, but when the officer asked him to pull his car to a different spot on the highway, the car wouldn’t start. The officer called for a tow truck, he said, while Gordon did not want to remain in his vehicle, so he was invited by the trooper to sit in the back of the trooper’s vehicle. He was frisked for weapons, and none were found, the attorney said.

After sitting there for more than 30 minutes without any information being provided and no indication he was under arrest, Gordon twice removed his seatbelt and put it back on as the trooper instructed.

But the third time, as he apparently removed his seatbelt and tried to get out of the cruiser, the trooper got physical with him and eventually shot him multiple times, Wagstaff said. He then handcuffed the bleeding man, the attorney was quoted as saying.

His mother Racquel Barrett told NJ.com Saturday: “It really hurts. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over this. And I’m really, really angry and upset with the police here,” she said. “I don’t know how the law works here, but it feels like I’m fighting through a no man’s land. I’m just sitting here in a hotel room, crying.”

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said earlier this week that investigators withhold details or video until witness interviews are complete and he has not released the trooper’s name.

The New Jersey State Police declined to comment on the story.

Gordon was raised in Spanish Town, Jamaica and came to the U.S., where his father was living, at age 19.