WATCH: Cop Shoots Innocent Unarmed Man in the Back, Paralyzes Him — Taxpayers to Be Held Liable
The victim had no gun and was running because he was scared to get shot… unfortunately the bullet holes in his back proved him right.
Paterson, NJ — On the night he opened fire on Khalif Cooper, moments before pulling the trigger, Officer Jerry Moravek claimed the unarmed man had a gun. Even after he shot Cooper multiple times in the back, Moravek maintained that Cooper was armed. But this wasn’t true. Now, the taxpayers of Paterson will be held accountable. Cooper — who has been paralyzed since the incident — is suing for $50 million.
The shooting unfolded in June 2022, and earlier this year, Moravek was charged with aggravated assault because body camera video showed his victim had no such gun when the officer tried to kill him.
“The body-worn camera footage does not depict the victim brandishing any firearm or pointing a firearm at the defendant, other officers or any member of the public,” a statement from Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin’s office said. “No gun was found in the victim’s possession nor within his reach.”
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“Every officer knows that his firearm is meant to be a last resort,” the lawsuit quotes Platkin as saying. “And our policy is clear: Officers have a responsibility to use force only after giving civilians a chance to comply with orders.”
According to state law, an officer is only allowed to fire on a fleeing suspect if their escape would cause an “imminent threat” to an officer or bystander. As the video shows, however, Cooper was not a threat and Moravek never even told him to stop running.
“He was never warned that deadly force might be used,” the attorney general said. “Unfortunately, the fact remains that Moravek fired at an unarmed subject, running away, without giving proper warnings.”
Despite the charges, and the lawsuit, Moravek has been on paid administrative leave since March.
Cooper — who was never charged with a crime — would tell investigators he ran that night because he “was scared.” Moravek had responded to reports of shots fired near a large crowd that night and people were running all over the place. Cooper happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I was scared,” Cooper said after Moravek shot him. “But I don’t got no gun, though.” And he did not.
If Moravek is convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
“We expect to achieve justice for Mr. Cooper,” his lawyers said. “We want to thank the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New Jersey for taking the first step in making sure that Officer Jerry Moravek is held accountable for his actions. This is just the beginning, but we are prepared to advocate every step of the way until Mr. Cooper and his family are made whole.”
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist