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Video: N.J. Paraplegic Sues Cops Over OIS

August 02, 2012  | 

VIDEO: Surveillance Camera Captures N.J. OIS

A New Jersey teenager who fired blanks to stop an assault by gang members claims he was shot three times by responding undercover officers who shot him in the back.

Victor Rodriguez filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of New Brunswick, its police department, mayor and police chief, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department and sheriff, two police officers, and a sheriff's deputy.

The Jan. 31 incident began when Rodriguez, then 19, was leaving a restaurant. A group of men approached him, yelled the word "blood" in gang slang, and attempted to rob him. Rodriguez then fired twice in the air with a replica Beretta 9mm that fired blanks, reports the Star-Ledger.

An unmarked law enforcement vehicle was parked near the corner of Seaman Street and Remsen Avenue. In the vehicle were New Brunswick P.D. Officers Christopher Bornheimer and Andrew Weiss, as well as an unidentified deputy from the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, reports Courthouse News.

Instead of issuing a warning or command, the law enforcement officers opened fire on Rodriguez after he had already run past the car, shooting him in the back of his legs and the rear of his body, according to the lawsuit.

The incident was captured by a nearby video surveillance camera. The footage was then posted to NewBrunswickToday.com by Charlie Kratovil, an independent candidate for the New Brunswick City Council. Kratovil, who describes himself as an advocate for the Rodriguez family, added police radio traffic to the clip.

Tags: New Brunswick (N.J.) PD, Officer Involved Shootings, Civil Rights Cases, Video Surveillance


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

DPB @ 8/2/2012 8:03 PM

Where does it say we have to give warning to an apparent armed man, whom has fired several shots, is running away, and clearly is a threat to anyone and everyone he might encounter, regardless of the firearm being a blank gun! Give me a break!!!

Bernie @ 8/2/2012 8:46 PM

This is a very unfortunate incident. But... when the police arrive, see a man running with a gun and has fired several shots, it would seem like a good decision to do what they did. How would anyone know the gun was firing blanks? How would anyone know who was the aggressor? Why was he running away? Maybe firing in the air didn't stop the attempted robbers? I don't know. All the more reason to be sure to be able to be identified as a LEO when taking action off duty or in plain clothes.

mike @ 8/3/2012 7:18 AM

[Harry Callahan has to explain why he shot a man]
Harry Callahan: Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.
The Mayor: Intent? How did you establish that?
Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!
[walks out of the room]
The Mayor: He's got a point.

hank hill @ 8/3/2012 8:06 AM

hey mike good one!

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