Grand Jury Declines to Criminally Price Trooper Thinking about Deadly Taking pictures in Bass River


Bass River Township

Consistent with NJ state officers, a state grand jury has voted to not report any felony fees on the conclusion of its deliberations in regards to the demise of Mr. Maurice Gordon, 28, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who died when a New Jersey State Police Trooper fired his carrier weapon at Mr. Gordon on Would possibly 23, 2020 at the Lawn State Limited-access highway in Bass River.

The Trooper used to be recognized as Team of workers Sergeant Randall Wetzel of Troop “D” of the New Jersey State Police, say officers.

Consistent with government, a deadly police come across used to be investigated by means of the Administrative center of Public Integrity and Responsibility (OPIA) and offered to New Jersey citizens known as to serve at the grand jury in response to Directive 2019-4, the “Impartial Prosecutor Directive” issued in 2019.

Officers say in July 2021, OPIA issued usual working procedures (“SOPs”) to be sure that those grand jury shows are carried out in a impartial, purpose method, and with suitable transparency in regards to the procedure, in line with the Impartial Prosecutor Directive. 

Consistent with government, the investigation of this deadly police come across integrated interviews of witnesses, number of forensic proof, evaluation of video photos, and post-mortem effects from the scientific examiner. After listening to testimony and proof from the investigation, the grand jury concluded its deliberations the day before today Would possibly 16, and voted “no invoice,” that means the grand jury decided that the movements of the Trooper who shot Mr. Gordon must no longer lead to fees towards him.

Consistent with the investigation, at roughly 6:28 a.m. SSGT. Wetzel initiated a motor automobile forestall of Mr. Gordon close to go out 50, in Bass River, as a result of Mr. Gordon used to be dashing, touring in way over 100 miles an hour at 6:26 a.m.

Officers say Mr. Gordon pulled his automobile to the left shoulder of the Southbound lanes, which is the middle median of a six-lane freeway. Mr. Gordon equipped his motive force’s license and, when asked to drag his automobile to a more secure spot, instructed SSGT. Wetzel his automobile would no longer get started. In reaction, SSGT. Wetzel urged Mr. Gordon to stick in his automobile and instructed Mr. Gordon he would name for a tow truck.

Officers say when SSGT. Wetzel returned to the trooper automobile, he radioed for an expedited tow as a result of Mr. Gordon’s automobile used to be in part within the lane of commute. He then took steps to factor more than a few motor automobile summonses. As SSGT. Wetzel used to be doing so, Mr. Gordon opened the door to his automobile and tried to go out his automobile. 

Consistent with government, SSGT. Wetzel instructed Gordon to not get out his automobile. SSGT. Wetzel defined to Mr. Gordon that he had stopped in a perilous portion of the freeway. Moments later, then again, Mr. Gordon once more opened his door, this time exiting his automobile with non-public assets in his hand, together with his keys. This induced SSGT. Wetzel to ask Mr. Gordon to sit down within the rear of the trooper automobile for protection functions.

Government say that whilst within the trooper automobile looking forward to the arriving of a tow truck, SSGT. Wetzel requested Mr. Gordon quite a few questions on his vacation spot and if he wish to be dropped off someplace. Right through this time, Mr. Gordon unbuckled his seatbelt and tried to depart the trooper automobile. He first of all complied with SSGT. Wetzel’s instruction to re-buckle his seat belt.

At roughly 7:06 a.m., SSGT. Wetzel requested Mr. Gordon if he sought after a COVID masks. When Mr. Gordon indicated he did, SSGT. Wetzel diminished the trooper automobile’s rear window and walked to the passenger aspect rear door to offer him with a masks.

At the moment, Mr. Gordon all at once pressured his manner out of the trooper automobile, and engaged in a bodily combat with SSGT. Wetzel, who issued more than one verbal instructions. Mr. Gordon and SSGT. Wetzel momentarily stopped suffering on the rear, external of the trooper automobile, the place SSGT. Wetzel once more ordered Mr. Gordon to get again within the automotive.

State officers say Mr. Gordon walked to the rear passenger door of the trooper automobile, however as an alternative of re-entering, he closed its rear door and proceeded to go into the trooper automobile’s motive force’s seat. SSGT. Wetzel bodily got rid of Mr. Gordon from the motive force’s seat whilst issuing more than one verbal instructions and pulling Mr. Gordon to the rear, external of the trooper automobile.

There, SSGT. Wetzel deployed Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray. Mr. Gordon once more ran to, and sat in, the trooper automobile’s motive force’s seat, this time ultimate the door and tried to start out the automobile, say officers. 

Once more, SSGT. Wetzel bodily got rid of Mr. Gordon and pulled him to the rear, external of the trooper automobile. Consistent with SSGT Wetzel, right through this combat, Mr. Gordon whilst on SSGT Wetzel’s again, tried to realize keep an eye on of SSGT. Wetzel’s gun, say government. 

Consistent with government, Mr. Gordon used each arms and yanked at the trooper’s gun, bypassing the holster’s retention hood, which is designed to stop get admission to to the weapon by means of any person rather than the holster wearer. SSGT. Wetzel struggled with Mr. Gordon for keep an eye on of the gun after which fired six rounds at Mr. Gordon, placing him 5 occasions. SSGT. Wetzel known as for scientific support instantly. Different soldiers arrived in a while afterwards and secured the scene.

Officers say paramedics, skilled in complicated existence improve, arrived, rendered support and assessed Mr. Gordon’s situation. Paramedics conveyed their bodily observations about Mr. Gordon and the loss of necessary indicators on a cardiac track to a health care provider, and Mr. Gordon used to be pronounced deceased on the scene.

Consistent with officers, at the day previous to the capturing incident, Would possibly 22, 2020 a person known as 911 and instructed a Dutchess County, New York, dispatcher that he used to be involved as a result of Mr. Gordon seemed to be in a panicked state. Police in upstate New York sought the whereabouts of Mr. Gordon to test on his well-being however didn’t find him.

The investigation printed that within the early morning hours of Would possibly 23, 2020, Mr. Gordon drove from upstate New York to Connecticut, after which into New Jersey.

Consistent with the investigation, previous to the capturing, between roughly 3:13 a.m. and six:13 a.m., individuals of the New Jersey State Police had more than one contacts with Mr. Gordon at the Lawn State Limited-access highway.


  • In Brick, at roughly 3:13 a.m., an off-duty Crimson Financial institution Police Officer using a police automobile pulled up close to Mr. Gordon’s automotive, which had run out of gasoline and used to be stopped within the heart lane of the southbound lanes. The Crimson Financial institution officer known as a tow truck. A short while later, an off-duty State Trooper using to paintings in his non-public automotive pulled over to lend a hand Mr. Gordon and the Crimson Financial institution officer. The off-duty State Trooper equipped help after which departed. A short while after the off-duty Trooper departed the scene, a 2nd, on-duty State Trooper pulled as much as lend a hand Mr. Gordon and the Crimson Financial institution officer.


  • Close to Waretown, at roughly 4:54 a.m. on Would possibly 23, 2020, a distinct State Trooper pulled up in the back of Mr. Gordon’s automotive, which used to be stopped within the left lane southbound close to Go out 72. The Trooper known as a tow truck, set out flares, after which departed. After the State Trooper departed, however sooner than the tow truck arrived, a civilian automobile pulled along Mr. Gordon’s automotive and the occupants introduced Mr. Gordon a experience to a close-by Wawa comfort retailer to get gasoline. Afterwards, Mr. Gordon returned to his automobile and persevered using southbound at the Lawn State Limited-access highway.


  • Close to Stafford, at roughly 6:13 a.m., a State Trooper stopped Mr. Gordon for dashing. The Trooper issued a price tag to Mr. Gordon, who had allegedly been using 101 miles in step with hour. Mr. Gordon then proceeded on southbound.


Consistent with government, 2019 legislation, P.L. 2019, c. 1, calls for the Lawyer Basic’s Administrative center to behavior investigations of an individual’s demise that happens right through an come across with a legislation enforcement officer performing within the officer’s legit capability or whilst the decedent is in custody. It calls for that every one such investigations be offered to a grand jury to decide if the proof helps the go back of an indictment towards the officer or officials concerned.

After bearing in mind the proof, testimony from the OPIA investigation, and directions at the felony requirements, together with whether or not the officer’s movements had been legally justified, the state grand jury decided that no felony fees must be introduced towards the officer. An officer would possibly use fatal pressure in New Jersey when the officer rather believes it’s instantly important to offer protection to the officer or someone else from forthcoming threat of demise or severe physically hurt, say government.

Officers say a conflicts take a look at used to be carried out pursuant to the Impartial Prosecutor Directive and no exact or possible war of hobby used to be discovered involving any person assigned to the investigation. Previous to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation used to be reviewed by means of OPIA Govt Director Thomas Eicher in response to the insurance policies and procedures established for those shows within the SOPs.

On the conclusion of those investigations, pursuant to the Impartial Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether or not any most important must be referred to the fitting legislation enforcement company for administrative evaluation in response to the AG’s Interior Affairs Coverage & Procedures. OPIA screens any ensuing evaluation and takes such movements as are important to be sure that the evaluation is done in a well timed type, and that suitable movements are taken in line with the result of the evaluation.

The Impartial Prosecutor Directive is posted at the Lawyer Basic’s site at this hyperlink:

Additional details about how deadly police encounters are investigated in New Jersey underneath the directive is located at this hyperlink:



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