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NJ Attorney General Releases Video of Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Wayne

By rlsmetro on

TRENTON – The Attorney General’s Office today released audio and video recordings related to the shooting in Wayne, in which police officers fatally shot Bradley G. Pullman, 48, of Queens, N.Y.

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The Attorney General’s Office today also released the identity of the police officers who fired at Mr. Pullman. They are Sgt. Frank Tracey, Officer James Ciampi, and Officer Kevin Chen of the Fairfield Police Department, and Lt. Robert Franco of the Wayne Police Department.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. However, the audio and video recordings are being released pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” which governs use-of-force investigations in New Jersey and requires that such records, if requested, be released to the public once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete.

The family of Mr. Pullman viewed and listened to the recordings yesterday.

Officials say on April 26, 2020 at approximately 4:30 p.m., a Mountain Lakes police officer in a marked vehicle attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of a Lexus sedan driven by Mr. Pullman after he allegedly performed an illegal U-turn over the median of Route 46, a divided highway.

Officials say Mr. Pullman failed to stop for the marked police vehicle with lights and sirens activated.

After the attempted stop, a pursuit ensued through multiple municipalities. Marked vehicles from the Fairfield and Wayne Police Departments ultimately joined the pursuit. Recordings from the mobile video recorders (MVRs) in several police vehicles depict Mr. Pullman’s vehicle traveling in a dangerous manner at high rates of speed and being involved in multiple motor vehicle infractions, while failing to stop for the marked police vehicles.

The pursuit ended in Wayne at approximately 4:47 p.m. at the interchange of U.S. Route 46, Route 23 and Interstate 80. Footage from the MVR in the Fairfield police vehicle directly behind Pullman’s vehicle shows that when the pursuit ended, the driver’s side door of the Lexus immediately opened and Mr. Pullman began to exit with what appeared to be a handgun visible in his hand, leveled and pointed out from the car.

The gun was pointed in the direction of an occupied Mountain Lakes police vehicle. A Wayne police vehicle was immediately behind that Mountain Lakes police vehicle, and a second Mountain Lakes police vehicle was positioned in front of Mr. Pullman’s vehicle.

There were three Fairfield police vehicles in the area behind Mr. Pullman’s vehicle.

While Mr. Pullman was pointing the firearm, the four police officers began firing their weapons, fatally wounding him.

Police officers removed Mr. Pullman from his vehicle and attempted to provide aid, but they did not detect a pulse. EMS arrived at the scene at approximately 5:01 p.m. and pronounced Mr. Pullman deceased. A loaded Cobra .380-caliber pistol was recovered from Pullman’s car near the driver’s seat.

The recordings are contained in 11 files, which have been posted online.

Recordings:

Recording 01: Mountain Lakes Car 25A - Pt. 1
MVR footage from vehicle of officer who saw Pullman make alleged illegal U-turn.
Redaction of license plate of a car.

Recording 02: Mountain Lakes Car 25A - Pt. 2 (continuation)
MVR footage shows chase and contains audio of shooting; car pulls parallel to Pullman’s car at scene.
Backward-facing camera shows gunshots.

Recording 03: Mountain Lakes Car 25D
MVR footage from vehicle directly behind Pullman’s car during chase; in front of Pullman’s car at scene. This file has no audio.

Recording 04: Fairfield Car 418
MVR footage from vehicle directly behind Pullman’s car at scene.
Footage depicts shooting.

Recording 05: Fairfield Car 412
MVR footage from vehicle directly behind Car 418; Car 418 reverses into this car.
Footage depicts shooting.

Recording 06: Fairfield Car 414
MVR footage from vehicle that was part of “slow pursuit” of Pullman’s car.
Vehicle is several cars behind Pullman’s car at scene; MVR footage depicts shooting.

Recording 07: Fairfield Car 423
MVR from vehicle that arrives at scene as shooting starts.
Depicts shooting from more distant vantage point.

Recording 08: Fairfield Police Radio Transmissions

Recording 09: Mountain Lakes Police Radio Transmissions (Redaction of information related to a car briefly pulled over)

Recording 10: Wayne Police Radio Transmissions (Redactions of information from unrelated incidents)

Recording 11: MIRS (Morris Interoperable Radio System) Channel Radio Transmissions

The information at the following link is being made public pursuant to the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3.b., which lists specific criminal investigatory information that must be disclosed:
https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/Pullman_3B_Form_6-08-20-(OPRA).pdf

The investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L.2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time. Under state law and the Independent Prosecutor Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.

The Administrative Office of the Courts has temporarily suspended the convening of grand juries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investigation is being conducted in compliance with procedures and requirements established in the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which is available at this link:
https://www.nj.gov/oag/excellence/docs/2019-4_Independent_Prosecutor_Directive.pdf

The Independent Prosecutor Directive, issued by Attorney General Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting independent investigations of use-of-force and death-in-custody incidents in compliance with state law.

The directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are done fully, fairly, and independently of any potential bias.

A summary of that 10-step process is available at this link:
https://www.nj.gov/oag/excellence/docs/The-Independent-Prosecutor-Directive.pdf