Police Shooting of Alleged Dealer Angers Newark NJ Residents

Newark Police Shooting-thumb-250x334-27873NJ detectives shot and killed an alleged drug dealer in Newark NJ, angering several residents and leading to allegations of police brutality.

Earlier this month, 22-year-old Jose Quinonez was shot by two Essex County sheriff’s officers near Mr. Quinonez’s family’s home on North 9th Street.

Authorities said that Mr. Quinonez had been the target of a drug investigation. Law enforcement sources said that detectives saw Mr. Quinonez conduct a drug transaction moments before the shooting. Court records indicate that Mr. Quinonez has been arrested on drug charges three times since 2010.

Mr. Quinonez allegedly fled from the scene of the investigation just before he was shot. Police allegedly recovered drugs and a loaded handgun when they searched Mr. Quinonez’s body.

According to the acting Essex County prosecutor, Mr. Quinonez pointed a loaded weapon at the detectives, prompting them to fire on him. The Essex County prosecutor’s chief of detectives said that each officer fired a single round.

However, eyewitnesses indicated Mr. Quinonez was unarmed when he walked to his mother’s house. According to one witness, an unmarked police car drove up behind Mr. Quinonez and an officer got out of the vehicle with his weapon drawn. The witness said that the car struck Mr. Quinonez when he attempted to flee. Most pointedly, the witness said that Mr. Quinonez did not have a gun on him when the officers shot him.

A statement issued by the prosecutor’s office said that authorities do not believe that Mr. Quinonez was struck by the unmarked police car.

The shooting has upset residents in the Newark NJ community. Several residents reportedly threw rocks at police cruisers, resulting in one man being arrested for smashing a police car window.

For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Essex County Sheriff’s Officers Shoot and Kill Alleged Drug Suspect in Newark.”