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Settlement outlined in fatal shooting by Bridgeton police

The family of a man shot dead by Bridgeton, N.J., police during a 2014 traffic stop has reached a tentative settlement in a federal lawsuit.

The family of a man shot dead by Bridgeton, N.J., police during a 2014 traffic stop has reached a tentative settlement in a federal lawsuit.

Jerame Reid, 36, was shot after he did not heed police orders to stay in his car. Reid was black, as is the officer whose shots struck him, Braheme Days. A second officer, Roger Worley, also fired a shot, but missed.

A grand jury in Cumberland County declined to indict the officers last summer.

Both Worley, who is white, and Days have since left the Bridgeton force.

The settlement, first reported by the Associated Press, must be approved by a judge.

"Nothing's finalized," lawyer Conrad Benedetto, who represents Reid's widow, said Monday.

Reid's widow, mother, and the mother of his child sued Bridgeton.

If the settlement is finalized, Reid's infant son would receive about $1.5 million in periodic payments starting when he turns 18. His widow would receive $200,000, including legal fees. And his mother and the mother of his child would each receive $70,000.

The details were still being worked out Monday, Reid's mother, Shelia, said.

"We're not sure that the settlement is complete," she said.

Reid's widow, Lawanda Hartsfield-Reid, declined to comment. Ashley Benitez, the mother of Reid's child, could not be reached.

Walter Hudson, a local civil rights activist who has criticized authorities over the shooting, said the settlement is not the end of the story in Reid's case.

"By no means is the tentative settlement with Jerame Reid's family justice," Hudson said in a statement, adding, "We will continue to fight so that we may affect law and policies that govern our communities around the country so there will be no more Jerame Reids."

Rebecca Bertram, Bridgeton's solicitor, did not immediately return a call Monday.

Reid was a passenger in a Jaguar that police pulled over for running a stop sign on Dec. 30, 2014. Video from the police cruiser's dashcam was released last year. It showed the situation turning tense when one of the officers warned his partner he could see a gun in the glove compartment.

The officers had arrested Reid previously on charges of resisting arrest and knew he had served about 13 years in prison after being convicted as a teenager of shooting at state troopers, investigators said.

Screaming repeatedly at Reid, who was in the passenger's seat, not to move and to show him his hands Days reached into the car and removed a handgun.

At one point, Days addressed Reid by his first name and said, "If you reach for something, you're going to be [expletive] dead."

Days told his partner, "He's reaching for something."

Faintly on the video, Reid can be heard telling the officer: "I ain't doing nothing. I'm not reaching for nothing, bro. I ain't got no reason to reach for nothing."

The video showed Reid getting out of the car with his hands up, but Days - who was holding both his service weapon and the recovered gun - told investigators he believed Reid "had a weapon or was planning to take the handgun[s] out of his hands."

Prosecutors said Days fired seven shots and his partner, Worley, fired once. The shooting lasted approximately two seconds, and Reid was hit in the chest and left arm, according to prosecutors.

Reid's family had demanded that the state Attorney General's Office take over the investigation - it did not - because Days had coached basketball for the son of Jennifer Webb-McRae, the county prosecutor. She recused herself and had a deputy handle the case.

Last week, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) introduced a bill that would require the Attorney General's Office, not a county prosecutor, to investigate whether an officer who killed someone used justified force. Sweeney cited the Reid case, saying there was a "lack of trust" that the outcome of the investigation in the case was fair.

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This article includes information from the Associated Press.