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Middlesex County Prosecutor Exonerates Township Police Officer In Shooting Of Diahlo Grant

Diahlo Grant Memorial - 3


Update: Mayor Phillip Kramer thanked township residents “for showing extraordinary patience awaiting this report. That patience is a reflection of the trust this community has in our police force.”

In his statement, Kramer said he would “also like to thank Reverend Buster Soaries for the role he played in that as well.

“We will continue as always to strive to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community at large,” Kramer said.

Original Story: Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey has determined that a Franklin Township police officer was justified in the use of deadly force against Diahlo Grant on April 9, 2016.

Following is the complete statement from the prosecutor’s office.

“On Saturday April 9, 2016, at approximately 1:30 A.M., Franklin Township Police Officers encountered Diahlo Grant on Home Street in Franklin Township. The officers recognized Grant, knowing that he had warrants for his arrest, and that he was a suspect in a shooting in Franklin Township on February 15, 2016, in which a male victim was shot and survived his injuries. As officers approached Grant, he fled on foot, resulting in a pursuit that ended up on the border of Franklin (Somerset County) and New Brunswick (Middlesex County). While fleeing from the officers, Grant went into a creek, and the officers lost sight of him as they pursued him in their vehicle. Upon arriving in the area of Somerset Street in New Brunswick, officers observed a motion sensor light activate, heard the rattle of a chain link fence near a private residence, and approached the home. Officers then observed Grant trying to gain entry into a door at that residence. When officers gave him verbal commands to get on the ground, Grant turned toward them, holding a black revolver. Grant fired one shot at the officers, resulting in one officer returning fire, discharging his weapon six times. Grant was struck multiple times. Officers immediately administered CPR until Grant was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

“A black revolver with a brown grip was recovered next to Grant’s body. The revolver was subsequently discovered to have one projectile missing in the 12 o’clock position, which is indicative of the weapon being fired one time. A projectile was recovered from the exterior wall of a house located across the street and behind where the officer who fired his weapon was standing. The projectile had characteristics consistent with having been fired from Grant’s gun; however, a scientific match could not be made, due to the condition of the discharged projectile.

“The investigation included multiple canvases of the area, interviews of independent witnesses, interviews of all police officers present at the scene, the review of surveillance videos, radio transmissions, and police motor vehicle recordings (MVRs), as well as a search of Grant’s cellular phone. (The available video images do not show the actual exchange of gunfire in detail.) A review of all the evidence, including the statements of independent witnesses, corroborates the facts provided by the officers involved.

“During the investigation, several photographs of Grant were recovered from his cellular phone, including multiple photographs where he brandishes a handgun. The handgun in the photographs appears to be the same gun Grant used to shoot at the officer, which was recovered at the scene on April 9, 2016.

“Also during the investigation, a positive ballistics match was made between (1) the projectile recovered from the body of the victim of the February 15, 2016, and (2) the gun recovered from Grant at the scene on April 9, 2016. That is, the gun recovered from Grant in April was used to shoot the victim in February.

“The training records of the officer who discharged his weapon were reviewed. That officer had received and successfully completed all annual mandatory firearms and Use of Force training prior to this incident.

“Once it was determined that the shooting occurred in New Brunswick, the investigation was conducted by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and his staff, in accordance with Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2006-5. Upon completion of the investigation, the conclusions reached were reviewed by the Director of Criminal Justice, Elie Honig.

“The investigation concerning the use of deadly force in this matter determined that the level of force utilized was justifiable under N.J.S.A. 2C: 3-4, (Use of Force in Self Protection), and N.J.S.A. 2C:3-7(a) (Use of force justifiable to effect an arrest). Specifically, Diahlo Grant, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest, was armed with a handgun and fired the handgun at the officer. Based on these facts, the Officer had a reasonable belief that in the absence of such level of force, he and other officers present at the scene were in jeopardy of incurring serious bodily injury or death.

“In accordance with New Jersey Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive No. 2006-5, as well as standard practice by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in such matters, no conflict of interest existed between the principals involved in conducting or supervising this investigation with any of the subjects involved in the incident in question. Furthermore, all portions of the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive regarding uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police use of force investigations that were in effect during the course of this investigation were complied with.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

 

 

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