TIME Crime

Rapper Faces Life Sentence Over Album That ‘Promoted’ Gang Violence

Gett Money Gang

Prosecutors do not accuse him of participating directly in any gang violence

A rapper facing life behind bars for the content of a recent album went on CNN Thursday to deny all charges against him, saying he feels law enforcement is, “trying to eradicate black men.”

The San Diego-based rapper is facing indictment not for violent behavior, but because of a rap album he recorded which features violent imagery and graphic language.

Brandon Duncan, known by the stage name Tiny Doo, was arrested eight months ago for conspiring to benefit from gang activity, CNN reports. Unable to afford $500,000 bail, he has remained in prison for most of that time.

Duncan was charged in connection with a series of 2013 shooting incidents perpetrated by a notorious California gang, the Lincoln Park Bloods. Though prosecutors claim he is associated with the gang, they have not accused Duncan of participating, nor do they claim he had any direct knowledge of the attacks. Rather, he faces indictment under a 2000 California law because he allegedly benefited financially from the gang’s activity through sales of his album, No Safety.

Prosecutors say his album cover—which features a loaded revolver—and some of his lyrics have “direct correlation to what the gang has been doing.” They also say social media messages posted to Duncan’s account prove he’s a gang member.

Duncan denied the claims in the CNN interview. “I go to work every day,” the rapper, who was working in construction at the time of his arrest, said. “How am I benefiting from what someone else is doing? I haven’t sold a million records or anything.”

The rapper has called his music purely artistic fiction. “I said I had a million dollars on a couple of raps, too. Obviously I don’t have that, because I’d be home already,” he told Vice.com in an interview from jail in December. “It’s entertainment. It’s not real.”

Duncan faces nine counts of criminal street gang conspiracy, and will stand trial with 14 other men who prosecutors say increased their stature and respect because of the incidents. The rapper’s lawyer told CNN none of the men are being charged with actually participating.

“They’re going after the person who says the word ‘gun,’ rather than the person who actually used the gun,” the attorney, Brian Watkins, said.

In a statement, the San Diego District Attorney’s office maintained that there is sufficient evidence supporting the defendants’ alleged gang involvement. If the men are found to be active members of the Bloods, they can be held responsible for the actions of other gang members according to California law.

“The focus is holding violent individuals accountable for crimes that terrorized a neighborhood,” spokesman Steve Walker said. “Criminal charges against these defendants were filed appropriately under this specific law, which was put in place by voters to stop deadly gang violence and hold active gang members accountable.”

Duncan’s trial date has been set for Apr. 20.

[CNN]

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 23

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Though the “No Child Left Behind” brand is thoroughly tarnished, the law sparked the revolution of data-driven educating.

By Nick Sheltrown in EdSurge

2. To help cities plan for flooding, drought, wildfires and other effects of climate change, the University of Michigan built an adaptation tool for the Great Lakes region.

By Lisa A. Pappas at University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute

3. Teachers are underpaid in America. Early childhood workers earns even less for setting the foundation of all future learning for our children. That should change.

By Laura Bornfreund at New America Foundation

4. Chicago’s ‘Crime Lab’ — which uses scientific research to understand and experiment with innovative ways to prevent crime — could be replicated in other cities.

By Tina Rosenberg in Fixes, at the New York Times

5. To reduce billions of needless miles driving, a startup is bringing the Uber model to the trucking industry.

By Liz Gannes in Re/code

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Crime

California Teacher Defended Colleagues Accused of Having Sex With Pupils

Kids should have kept their “stupid mouths shut and enjoyed it,” he allegedly wrote on Facebook

A teacher has been placed on paid leave after allegedly writing on Facebook that students should not have complained about having sex with two female teachers at his school.

Sean Kane, a teacher at South Hills High School in West Covina, Calif., was put in administrative leave after appearing to defend his colleagues who have been arrested for allegedly having sex with students. A message allegedly appeared on his Facebook page saying the kids should have kept their “stupid mouths shut and enjoyed it,” the L.A. Times reports.

Kane’s colleagues Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, were arrested Saturday on suspicion of having sex with students during a trip to a local beach, not sponsored by the school. Lippert is also accused of providing students with alcohol on the same beach on a separate occasion.

Some students at the high school have launched a social media campaign to get Kane back on the job, using the hashtag #FreeKane to express their support for the art teacher.

[L.A. Times]

TIME Crime

Magnets Used to Plant Drugs Under Cars From Mexico

Smugglers target "Trusted Travelers"

SAN DIEGO — Drug smugglers are turning “trusted travelers” into unwitting mules by placing containers with powerful magnets under their cars in Mexico and then recovering the illegal cargo far from the view of border authorities in the United States.

One motorist spotted the containers while pumping gas after crossing into Southern California on Jan. 12 and thought it might be a bomb.

His call to police prompted an emergency response at the Chevron station, and then a shocker: 13.2 pounds of heroin were pulled from under the vehicle, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. San Diego police said the drugs were packed inside six magnetized cylinders.

The driver had just used a “trusted traveler” lane at the San Ysidro border crossing, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some details of the case have not been made public.

Authorities have learned of at least three similar incidents in San Diego since then, all involving drivers enrolled in the enormously popular SENTRI program, which stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection. There were 12.6 million SENTRI vehicle crossings in fiscal 2013, more than double the 5.9 million four years earlier.

The program enables hundreds of thousands of people who pass extensive background checks to whiz past inspectors with less scrutiny. Signing up can reduce rush-hour wait times from more than two hours to less than 15 minutes at San Diego’s San Ysidro port of entry, the nation’s busiest crossing, where SENTRI users represented 40 percent of the 4.5 million vehicle crossings in fiscal 2013, the Government Accountability Office found.

But like other prescreening programs, there’s a potential downside: the traveler can become a target, and such cases can be tricky for investigators when people caught with drugs claim they were planted.

Using magnets under cars isn’t new, but this string of cases is unusual.

The main targets are people who park for hours in Mexico before returning to the U.S., authorities say. Smugglers track their movements on both sides of the border, figuring out their travel patterns and where they park. It takes only seconds to attach and remove the magnetized containers when no one is looking.

“It’s a concern for everyone, not as big a concern for me because I’m careful,” said Aldo Vereo, a SENTRI user and office assistant at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency who parks in a garage when home in Tijuana and varies his routes. “People should be worried because they go straight home and straight to work.”

“Trusted travelers” were issued windshield decals for years, but they are no longer needed to identify vehicles approaching the inspection booths. New stickers haven’t been issued since 2013, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says existing stickers can be removed.

Many haven’t heeded the call, which can make them a target. The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce in San Diego told newsletter readers last week that decals should go.

“It’s basically demonstrating that you are a SENTRI user,” said Alejandra Mier y Teran, the chamber’s executive director. “Criminals are savvy, and they know they are part of a program where they are not checked as much.”

CBP says frequent crossers also should vary their travel routines and keep a closer eye on their cars.

There have been 29 cases of motorists unwittingly carrying drugs under their cars in the San Diego area since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified the trend in July 2011, including six drivers who made it past inspectors, said spokeswoman Lauren Mack.

Any driver who suspects something’s amiss under their car should immediately report it, to better show their innocence, authorities say.

Officer Matthew Tortorella, a San Diego police spokesman, said “it would be inappropriate” to make public more details about the Jan. 12 seizure, and CBP spokeswoman Jacqueline Wasiluk also declined to comment, calling it a local police investigation.

There have been three seizures since, all involving SENTRI drivers who were not charged:

—On Jan. 13, inspectors at the Otay Mesa border crossing found 35 pounds of marijuana in seven packages attached by powerful magnets to the bottom of a 2010 Kia Forte.

—On Tuesday, a driver alerted an inspector at Otay Mesa to a package under a 2010 Nissan Murano, and 8 pounds of methamphetamine were found in three packages underneath.

—On Wednesday, a dog at San Ysidro alerted inspectors to a 2000 Toyota Corolla with 18 pounds of marijuana underneath. That driver was enrolled in SENTRI but using a regular lane.

Pete Flores, CBP’s San Diego field office director, acknowledged that it’s unusual to have so many cases in fewer than two weeks.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” Flores said. “Each change they make prompts a change from law enforcement, which in turn prompts them to again change their tactics.”

TIME Crime

This Fraternity Was Suspended After Completely Destroying a Ski Resort

The University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu is in big trouble

The national office of fraternity Sigma Alpha Nu has suspended the University of Michigan chapter after a ski weekend gone very, very bad.

Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Mich. suffered $50,000 in damages to walls, ceilings, windows, furniture and carpeting when 120 fraternity and sorority members ran amok last weekend, the Detroit Free Press reports. The fraternity could face criminal charges, but in the mean time, the university is investigating wrongdoing and chapter president Joshua Kaplan has said they will be “working with the management of the resort to pay for all damages and cleaning costs.”

Looks like this is one frat mess that can’t be cleaned up with a bucket full of sawdust.

[Detroit Free Press]

TIME justice

Obama’s Police Task Force Faces Uphill Battle

Barack Obama Policing Task Force Charles Ramsey Laurie Robinson
US President Barack Obama speaks after a meeting on building trust in communities following Ferguson unrest, with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey (L) and George Mason University professor of Criminology, Law and Society Laurie Robinson, who were appointed by Obama to chair a task force on policing, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Dec. 1, 2014. Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

Can a panel launched after Ferguson actually bring real change?

In the politician’s arsenal, a task force is a dull yet indispensable weapon: a way to address a problem that isn’t easy to solve.

Over the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has created panels to study issues ranging from climate change to gun control to childhood obesity. Task forces are the place where hard-working people go to produce important work that winds up moldering on a shelf.

Obama is determined to avoid this fate for his new White House panel on 21st century policing. “This is not going to be an endless report that ends up collecting dust,” the President pledged when he formed the task force in December after grand juries in New York and Ferguson, Mo., declined to charge two white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men. The 11-member group is tasked with identifying concrete ways to mend the ruptured relationship between police and the communities they serve. It must present a draft report to Obama on March 2, recommending methods to strengthen public trust while reducing crime.

Ron Davis, executive director of the task force and the director of the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), says he is “extremely confident” the committee will live up to its promise. Davis told a panel held by the U.S. Conference of Mayors Thursday that the task force, which will hold a series of listening sessions, panel discussions and open forums over the next few weeks, had an opportunity to “redefine policing in a democratic society.”

The mandate to do so comes from the top. Attorney General Eric Holder has seized police reform as a legacy issue. At Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Obama said he believes there is broad consensus to repair the rift between police forces and minority communities.

“We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed,” the President said. “Surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift. Surely we can agree it’s a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America’s criminal justice system so that it protects and serves us all.”

But channeling modest consensus into real change is a tall order—one made trickier by a grim drumbeat of bad feelings and worse news. The killing of two New York City police officers in late December sparked an ugly public dispute between the nation’s largest police force and its liberal mayor and may have led to a huge plummet in arrests. On Wednesday, new reports indicated federal authorities investigating the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown have concluded there is insufficient evidence to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting. A broader Department of Justice probe into the practices of the entire Ferguson police force is ongoing.

“I’m realistic about what a task force is actually capable of,” says a person with knowledge of the task force proceedings, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about the committee’s challenges. “The task force can be very useful, but we are now in a place politically where actually creating legislation out of things will be an uphill battle.”

There are small signs of progress. In December, Congress passed a law requiring police departments to report the death of a person in police custody to the Justice Department. Obama has asked for $263 million in funding for new body cameras and training for police departments. He also ordered a review of a federal program that supplies millions of dollars of military equipment to municipal police departments.

Several prominent Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have called for the party to address criminal-justice policies that harm minority communities. Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, a top conservative donor, is redoubling his efforts to enact criminal-justice reforms. The growing number of elected Republicans calling for justice reform has brightened the prospect of legislative action.

On Thursday the Conference of Mayors released a report to help local law enforcement and politicians address the issue. “There’s a growing gulf of mistrust between police and communities they serve,” says Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, Calif., and the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The report outlined six areas of focus, from building trust between cops and communities to addressing racial and economic disparities. Karen Freeman-Wilson, the mayor of Gary, Ind., and the chair of the mayoral working group that produced the report, argued the groundswell of anger in the aftermath of Ferguson offered a chance to address long-simmering tensions. “With every tragedy comes opportunity,” she says.

The report is full of sensible ideas, but short on concrete detail. And some of its specific suggestions drew immediate opposition. David Berger, the mayor of Lima, Ohio, bristled at the recommendation that police departments hand over responsibility for investigating officer-involved deaths to an independent official as a way to “increase public confidence.” Berger noted that Lima did just that in 2008, when police in that city shot a young mother to death and wounded her infant child after arriving at her home to arrest a companion on suspicion of drug dealing. The decision, he says, left the city unable to provide basic information about a case roiling the community, compounding the “dramatic trauma” caused by the incident.

Davis said he couldn’t comment on the recommendations of the task force until its work wraps up in early March. Brittany Packnett, a St. Louis educator who was appointed to serve on the task force for her work organizing the Ferguson protests, said in an interview that she was optimistic about the panel and would focus on ensuring the street protests that followed Brown’s death led to concrete action. “I just don’t see us making progress if disruptive change and systemic change don’t go hand in hand,” she says. “I am trying to make sure the connection is fruitful.”

TIME Drugs

Drones May Soon Have a New Customer: Drug Cartels

A drone loaded with packages containing methamphetamine lies on the ground after it crashed into a supermarket parking lot in the city of Tijuana on Jan. 20, 2015.
A drone loaded with packages containing methamphetamine lies on the ground after it crashed into a supermarket parking lot in the Mexican city of Tijuana on Jan. 20, 2015 AP

"If it's not happening, it soon will," one expert says

A drone carrying 6.6 lb. of methamphetamine that crashed in a supermarket parking lot in Mexico close to the California border this week probably doesn’t signify a popular new method for transporting drugs, U.S. officials say. But it’s a reminder that cartels can use the increasingly popular aircraft just like any other business or government agency.

It wasn’t the first time drones have been used to smuggle drugs across the border. U.S. authorities who speak to TIME say they haven’t noticed a trend of cartels using drones. Carlos Lazo, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, calls it “an isolated incident.”

But Matthew Barden, a special agent and spokesman with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, says authorities are always on guard for new cartel methods and that drones might appeal to traffickers for a number of reasons. The most likely, Barden says, would be surveillance, not transportation. “They can be used to spy on border agents doing rounds,” Barden says, speaking about the issue generally but not the latest incident. “People can use them to set up an ambush.”

The drone that crashed was carrying a relatively small amount of meth — about 6 lb. worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000. It wouldn’t make sense for a cartel to send millions of drones across the border carrying tiny amounts of any drug when they could transport hundreds or even thousands of pounds in a commercial vehicle, Barden says: “It’s like the post office sending one letter at a time.”

A DEA spokeswoman in San Diego says authorities are “aware of this smuggling technique.”

“While we would not call using drones a new trend in smuggling, we do know that drug-trafficking organizations will use any and all means to get their drugs [into] the United States,” says the spokeswoman, Amy Roderick.

The drone could have been sent by an individual trying to send drugs to a friend or contact, rather than by a cartel, Barden speculates. If it was sent by a cartel, it could have been by a low-level member looking to go out on his own, or as a kind of research and development mission by the cartel. The crash is still under investigation by the Tijuana Public Safety Secretariat.

And if cartels do start to use drones for surveillance, they won’t be along in the skies: the U.S. now patrols the airspace above almost half the Mexican border, according to the Associated Press. Customs and Border Protection says it has nine drones in its arsenal.

“If it’s not happening,” Barden says of cartels using drones for surveillance, “it soon will.”

Read next: CNN Just Got Permission to Experiment With Drones

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Crime

Prince Andrew Denies Underage Sex Allegations

Britain's Prince Andrew the Duke of York, during the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22, 2015.
Britain's Prince Andrew the Duke of York, during the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22, 2015. Jean-Christophe Bott—EPA

"I just wish to reiterate and to reaffirm the statements which have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace"

(DAVOS, Switzerland) — Britain’s Prince Andrew on Thursday publicly denied allegations he had sex with an underage teenager.

He made the denial during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was his first public appearance since the charges.

U.S. lawyers representing a woman who claims she was forced to have underage sex with Prince Andrew have filed papers requesting that he respond to her claims under oath.

Buckingham Palace officials have strongly denied that Andrew had any sexual involvement with the woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe No. 3 in court papers.

“I just wish to reiterate and to reaffirm the statements which have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace,” Prince Andrew said Thursday.

He went on to say: “My focus is on my work.”

The royal has faced increasing pressure to speak about the allegations since they first emerged earlier this month.

The woman behind the charges says in court papers the prince’s denials are false.

“I hope my attorneys can interview Prince Andrew under oath about the contacts and that he will tell the truth,” she says in the papers.

TIME Crime

U.S. Lawyers Seek to Interview Prince Andrew About Sex-Crime Claims

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, visits Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany on June 3, 2014.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, visits Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany, on June 3, 2014 Swen Pförtner—AP

Lawyers move forward with legal discovery in a sex scandal that spans the Atlantic Ocean

American lawyers for a woman who claims to have been trafficked for sex with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, have asked Queen Elizabeth’s second son to answer the charges in an interview under oath.

Lawyers Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards, who represent a woman who alleges she was kept as an underage “sex slave” by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, sent the formal request on Jan. 14 through their own attorney. In it, they ask to discuss what happened “at the time … and shortly thereafter” a widely circulated photo from 2001 was taken. The photograph shows Prince Andrew with his arm wrapped around the bare midriff of Virginia Roberts, the self-described “sex slave,” who is identified in court documents as Jane Doe No. 3.

Epstein, a financier who has recently split his time between New York and Palm Beach, Fla., settled the criminal case against him in 2008 by cutting a deal with federal prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to two Florida state crimes, registered as a sex offender, served a short jail term and agreed to assist financially his alleged victims in filing civil lawsuits against him. The case has been kept alive since then through those civil cases, and through a federal lawsuit by Cassell and Edwards that alleges the prosecutors violated the victims’ rights in their handling of the case.

The newest documents, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, reveal further details about the allegations in the tangled legal case. In one new filing, Roberts says that she has not disclosed all the information that she has about sexual encounters she claims to have had with other powerful men, including politicians, because she is “very fearful of these men.” But she adds, “If a judge wants me to present my information in more detail, including more specific descriptions of the sexual activities with the men Epstein sent me to, I could do so.”

At a separate point in the document, Roberts clarifies past statements about her alleged encounters with former President Bill Clinton at a Caribbean retreat owned by Epstein. “Bill Clinton was present on the island at the time I was also present on the island, but I have never had sexual relations with Clinton, nor have I ever claimed to have had such relations,” she says in the document. “I have never seen him have sexual relations with anyone.”

Edwards, one of the attorneys for Roberts, says in another filing that he previously sought to depose Clinton about his knowledge of illegal activity by Epstein and his accomplices. “The flight logs showed Clinton traveling on Epstein’s plane on numerous occasions between 2002 and 2005,” Edwards writes.

In her own sworn statement, Roberts repeats the claim that she was forced into sexual encounters with both Prince Andrew and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, a friend and attorney for Epstein. Buckingham Palace has denied that Prince Andrew had “any form of sexual contact or relationship” with the woman, saying in a previously released statement that her claims are “categorically untrue.” Dershowitz also denied the claims, and has filed legal actions against Cassell and Edwards for allowing the accusations to show up in legal filings, prompting Cassell and Edwards to countersue Dershowitz for defamation. A representative for Epstein has dismissed Roberts’ claims as old and discredited.

“I had sex with him three times, including one orgy,” Roberts says in the affidavit, describing her alleged encounters with Prince Andrew. “I knew he was a member of the British Royal Family, but I just called him ‘Andy.’”

In her affidavit, Roberts says, “I have seen Buckingham Palace’s recent ‘emphatic’ denial that Prince Andrew had sexual contact with me. That denial is false and hurtful to me. I did have sexual contact with him as I have described here — under oath.”

She asked that the Prince “simply voluntarily tell the truth about everything” and agree to be interviewed by her lawyers under oath.

TIME Crime

Video Shows Man Shot by New Jersey Police Raising Hands

NJ Police Shooting
A sign and cross are displayed on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Bridgeton, N.J., near where a Dec. 30, 2014 police stop resulted in the fatal shooting of Jerame Reid. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) Mel Evans—AP

Stirring anger over yet another death at the hands of police

(BRIDGETON, N.J.) — With the dashboard camera in their cruiser rolling, police pulled a Jaguar over for running a stop sign on a dark night. But things suddenly turned tense when one of the officers warned his partner that he could see a gun in the glove compartment.

Screaming over and over “Don’t you f—ing move!” and “Show me your hands!” at the man in the passenger seat, the officer reached into the car and appeared to remove a silver handgun.

Then, despite being warned repeatedly not to move, the passenger stepped out of the Jaguar, his hands raised about shoulder level.

The officers opened fire, killing him.

The video of the Dec. 30 killing of Jerame Reid in Bridgeton, a struggling, mostly minority city of 25,000 people about 35 miles south of Philadelphia, was released this week, raising a host of questions and stirring anger over yet another death at the hands of police.

The nearly two-minute deadly standoff came after the killings of black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, triggered months of turbulent protests, violence and calls for a re-examination of police use of force.

Both Reid and the man driving the car were black. The Bridgeton officer who spotted the gun, Braheme Days, is black; his partner, Roger Worley, is white. Both officers have been placed on leave while prosecutors investigate.

“The video speaks for itself that at no point was Jerame Reid a threat and he possessed no weapon on his person,” Walter Hudson, chairman and founder of the civil rights group the National Awareness Alliance, said Wednesday. “He complied with the officer and the officer shot him.”

A Philadelphia lawyer, Conrad Benedetto, said he has been hired by Reid’s wife, Lawanda, to investigate. He said in a statement Wednesday that the footage “raises serious questions as to the legality and/or reasonableness of the officers’ actions that night” because Reid was shot as he raised his hands.

Reid, 36, spent about 13 years in prison for shooting at three state troopers when he was a teenager. And Days knew who he was; Days was among the arresting officers last year when Reid was charged with several crimes, including drug possession and obstruction.

In Bridgeton, where two-thirds of the residents are black or Hispanic, the killing has stirred small protests over the past couple of weeks, including a demonstration on Wednesday, a day after the video was made public at the request of two newspapers under the state’s open records law.

The Cumberland County prosecutor’s office previously said a gun was seized during the stop but would not comment further on the investigation. Bridgeton police would not answer any questions about the video and said they opposed its release as neither “compassionate or professional.”

County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McCrae has disqualified herself from the case because she knows Days. But Lawanda Reid’s lawyer and activists are demanding the state Attorney General’s Office take over the investigation, something it said it will not do.

In the video, the mood changes in a flash when Days tells his partner about the gun and starts yelling, “Show me your hands!” The driver, Leroy Tutt, raises his hands immediately. Reid does not at first.

Days, still yelling, reaches into the car and appears to remove a gun.

“I’m going to shoot you,” Days shouts, at one point addressing Reid by his first name. “You’re going to be f—ing dead. If you reach for something, you’re going to be f—ing dead.”

Days tells his partner, “He’s reaching for something.”

Faintly on the video, Reid can be heard telling the officer, “I ain’t doing nothing. I’m not reaching for nothing, bro. I ain’t got no reason to reach for nothing.”

Then one of the men in the car tells the officer, “I’m getting out and getting on the ground.”

The officer again orders Reid not to move. Seconds later, Reid emerges from the car, raising his hands, which appear to be empty. Both officers fire immediately, shooting at least six rounds.

Bystanders start yelling at the officers, and other emergency vehicles arrive.

The South Jersey Times reported this week that residents had filed seven municipal court complaints against Days since 2013 and two against Worley in that span for alleged abuses of power; all the complaints were later dismissed.

___

Mulvihill reported from Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser