The Newark man ᴋɪʟʟᴇԀ in a police ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ in January repeatedly ignored police commands during a traffic stop before driving away, initiating the police pursuit that would end in his Ԁᴇɑтһ, and four months later, the indictment of the officer who ѕһᴏт him.
Footage of the initial police stop was made public Thursday by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
And while a ɡᴜп in the vehicle isn’t visible on the video, Police Officer Valerie Sanchez, who stopped the car for speeding Jan. 28, said that she spotted a һɑпԀɡᴜп tucked between or under the legs of the driver before he took off. A ɡᴜп was recovered from the car, authorities said.
His attorney maintains the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ was justified because Crespo says one of the men in the vehicle repeatedly pointed the ɡᴜп at him. That isn’t visible in the video, and police noted that the car had tinted windows.Crespo’s body camera footage (below) shows him jumping out of a moving cruiser three times to run at the car and fire at it. After the first ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ, his partner driving the cruiser, Hector Ortiz, repeatedly tells him to relax and stay in the car.
The new video (at the top of this story) shows Lopez stop the car around 11:15 p.m. at Clinton Avenue and Thomas Street. She tells the driver, Greg C. Griffin, 46, of Newark, to turn off the car. He only responds, “Why?”
Then he rolls up the tinted window, which Sanchez pounds on. After he rolls it back down, she tells him to open the door, the video shows. Then she radios that she sees a ɡᴜп, pulls her own ɡᴜп and repeatedly orders the men to show their hands.
Passenger Andrew Dixon complies, but Griffin keeps his right hand down near the gear shifter for approximately 20 seconds before placing it on the wheel, the video shows.
When a second cruiser arrives, Sanchez reaches in to try to unlock the door and the car takes off, the video shows.
At least four cruisers are actively pursuing the car, whizzing by one another at times. The final shooting took place at 54 Irvine Turner Boulevard, where video captured Crespo dragging the disoriented Dixon, who was ѕһᴏт in the face, out of the car.
The video shows a chaotic scene as roughly 20 officers surround the car, some with ɡᴜпѕ drawn, some ordering the driver, who is clearly unresponsive, to get out of the car.After Dixon is handcuffed and on the ground, the officer who cuffed him knees him in the back while yelling, “You f—ing bi—!” according to Crespo’s body camera. The video shows two other officers grab that officer by his vest to pull him off the injured passenger.
Another officer’s body camera later captured Dixon, lying on the ground asking, ”Why you ѕһᴏт me bro?”Dashboard video also shows officers began chest compressions on Griffin about four minutes after the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ, and both men were loaded onto stretchers at approximately the six-minute mark.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the body camera video shows Crespo telling others that a man in the car pointed a ɡᴜп at him and tried to run him over. Dixon was later charged with possessing a ɡᴜп loaded with hollow-point bullets.
Sanchez’ body camera captures her at the scene, alternately calm and upset and even fighting back tears at one point. It also shows another officer telling her in Spanish to not say anything.
In a statement to NJ Advance Media Wednesday, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said Crespo’s actions “immediately raised concerns” and properly resulted in the grand jury presentation.
“It should be noted that there were more than a dozen officers on the scene who acted professionally and appropriately and were not involved in the prosecutorial investigation,” Ambrose said.
Crespo is being held in protective custody in the Bergen County jail until a hearing Tuesday where the state will argue he should be detained pending trial.
Watch the video below: