NJ Community Demands Answers in Police Shooting Death

Community members gathered Wednesday night to demand answers in the shooting death of Barry Deloatch, the unarmed man shot and killed by police in New Brunswick, N.J. last Thursday.

"This isn't just an affront to the Deloatch family, but to all people," said Walter L. Hudson, a spokesman for the Deloatch family.

Hudson went on to announce a plan to "shut New Brunswick down" on Oct. 22, a day some activist groups across the country have designated National Coalition Against Police Brutality Day.

"We are going to shut down traffic," Hudson told the crowd gathered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. "They are going to listen to us."

Barry Deloatch, 47, was shot just after midnight on Sept. 22, after two police officers chased him into an alley off Throop Avenue and Handy Street. Prosecutors said the officers, who were on routine patrol, stopped to question Deloatch and two other men, and Deloatch fled.

The officers then followed him into an alley, "where a struggle ensued and resulted in the shooting," prosecutors said in a statement.

He did not have a gun when he was shot by police. Sources said Deloatch was armed with a stick and hitting officers, but his family maintains he had no weapon of any type on him.

New Brunswick police have remained silent on the incident.

"Let's face it, New Brunswick has had a troubled police department for a very long time," Deborah Jacobs, a local representative from the American Civil Liberties Union, said at the meeting. She asked people to sign a letter by ACLU urging the federal government to probe the shooting. 

Jacobs also showed the crowd a "bust card," detailing the rights a civilian has when stopped by police.

The New Brunswick-area branch of NAACP organized the meeting Wednesday. "NAACP has been involved with this from the outset and will continue to be involved until justice has been served for Barry Deloatch and processes are in place to stop these wanton killings in our community," NAACP president Bruce Morgan said in an email announcing the meeting.

Mayor James Cahill last Friday said it was "fully understandable" that people wanted answers but asked for patience as the Middlesex County prosecutors office investigates.

Prosecutors said the two officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. One has been an officer for two and a half years, the other for six years.

Follow Pei-Sze on Twitter at @PeiSzeCheng4NY

Contact Us