A grand jury declined to indict New Jersey troopers involved in the death of a suspect in March that triggered protests from Black Lives Matter, NJ.com reported.
The state grand jury heard testimony and evidence from investigators at the Attorney General’s Office’s Shooting Response Team, which handles in-custody deaths involving law enforcement officers. The jurors ended deliberations in early December, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Troopers pulled over Marshall Zamor, 39, on the Atlantic City Expressway because his vehicle had illegal tinting on the windows. According to officials, he refused orders to get out his car after the police claimed to smell marijuana in the vehicle. During handcuffing, he was observed chewing something white that the troopers suspected was crack cocaine. At some point, he allegedly swallowed a small plastic bag before losing consciousness in his holding cell. The troopers called EMS but were unsuccessful in their attempts to remove the object from his mouth. While the troopers were “forceful,” they did not punch or kick Zamor to retrieve the objects, the Attorney General’s Office insisted. The medical examiner ruled Zamor’s death accidental, caused by cocaine intoxication and obstruction to his airway.
Zamor’s family and BLM activists demanded to see surveillance video from the patrol vehicle, processing area and the detention facility. When authorities failed to share the videos, they held rallies outside the state justice complex in Trenton, complaining that Zamor’s widow had a right to transparency and that they couldn’t “trust the police to police the police.” Up to 100 people sent open public records requests to the Attorney General’s Office to no avail, the activists stated. The attorney representing Zamor’s family did not immediately respond to the news outlet’s request for a comment on the grand jury’s decision.