By: Yuritza Arroyo
A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Francis Delacruz Abad, 21, of Trenton, who was injured in a crash while he was driving away from Hamilton Township Police Detective Brian Davis on May 25, 2021.
According to authorities, Davis was attempting to pull over Mr. Abad, who was on a scooter, when Mr. Abad collided with a third-party vehicle. Mr. Abad died of his injuries two days later.
Authorities say Mr. Abad’s death was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019.
In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.
According to officials, the investigation included interviews of witnesses, photographs, a review of body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner.
Officials say this evidence, including video of the incident's aftermath, was presented to a state grand jury.
After hearing the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations Monday, May 8, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against Detective Davis.
According to the investigation, the crash occurred just after 9 p.m. on May 25, 2021, near the intersection of Route 33 and Whitehorse-Mercerville Road. Detective Davis was in an unmarked police vehicle when he attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop.
Mr. Abad did not stop but continued traveling westbound on Route 33 and collided with a Dodge Caravan, whose driver was attempting to turn left into the Mercerville Shopping Center from Route 33 eastbound.
According to the investigation, Mr. Abad was thrown from the scooter and struck the van's windshield. He was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he died at approximately 3 p.m. on May 27.
It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved. At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures.