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Dashcam video shows South Jersey police officer shooting man

Police dashcam video obtained by the Inquirer shows what happened during a struggle in which a Haddon Township police officer shot a man who tried to drive away during an Oct. 29 traffic stop.

NOTE: This story has been updated.

Police dashcam video obtained by the Inquirer shows what happened during a struggle in which a Haddon Township police officer shot a man who tried to drive away during an Oct. 29 traffic stop.

Authorities are investigating whether the officer was justified in opening fire, as is standard procedure when police use lethal force in New Jersey.

Edmond Brown, 38, had been pulled over for having a visible handicap placard, which the officer said should be taken down while driving. Brown then crashed the truck he was driving into a parked car, walked out with his hands up, and tried to run from the officer.

The officer grabbed Brown, then shot him once in the leg. In the video, obtained through a public records request, the officer does not appear to know his gun has fired.

"You shot me!" Brown yells.

"No, I didn't," the officer says as he reaches around Brown.

The shooting occurred just before 10 a.m. along Alabama Road, a residential area just off Route 130 near the border of Haddon Township and Camden.

Authorities have not identified the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave, also standard procedure, as the Camden County Prosecutor's Office investigates.

The Prosecutor's Office declined to comment Thursday, citing the investigation.

Kenneth Aita, who said Friday he is Brown's attorney, said his firm is conducting its own investigation and seeking witnesses to the incident.

"I just ask that nobody rushes to judgment based on a short video clip alone," he said, adding that the gunshot in the clip happens "extremely fast."

He declined to make Brown available.

In the video, once police have restrained him, Brown points out his leg wound to the officer.

"You shot me," Brown says.

"I pulled you out at gunpoint, and you started running and wrestling with me," the officer says.

"I got out, and you had a gun in my face," Brown says.

Brown has been charged with aggravated assault, eluding, hindering apprehension, and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities said they searched the truck Brown was driving - he told police it belonged to someone he knew - and found a loaded revolver.

The officer had pulled Brown over only for the handicap placard.

When the officer first flashed his squad car's lights, Brown kept driving down Route 130. The officer followed him for at least a minute.

"What are you doing? Turn right," the officer said aloud as Brown turned on his left blinker and then cut across several lanes of traffic.

Brown soon turned onto Alabama, stopped, and provided a name and date of birth at the officer's request.

The officer, in his squad car, had dispatchers check both in a records system, but it found no match. The officer walked back to the truck and questioned Brown again, saying, "I don't care what time of day it is. . . . I know my date of birth. I know how old I am."

"I need you to tell me the truth," the officer responded.

After further questioning, the officer told Brown to turn off the truck's ignition. Then the truck jolted forward.

The officer climbed briefly into the driver's-side window but let go as Brown drove the truck into a parked vehicle, setting off car alarms.

The officer pulled his gun and yelled at Brown to get down. Brown stepped out of the truck with his hands up and got down on his knees before standing and putting his hands on the truck.

The officer then reached around Brown's chest, apparently in an effort to get Brown to the ground. Brown then ran, and the officer chased him.

The officer grabbed Brown's jacket with his right hand, then moved his left hand around Brown's waist. In that hand was the officer's service weapon.

The gun went off.

The officer then put the gun back in his holster and took Brown down. Additional emergency responders arrived.

After the officer had seen Brown's leg wound, he described the incident to another law enforcement official.

The officer said Brown "had a fight with me basically while my gun was in my hand," and it went off.

"Is everything on tape?" the law enforcement official asked. The officer said yes.

Brown, who was treated at Cooper University Hospital, is at the Camden County Jail on $100,000 bail.

The judge who sentenced him in 2000 for a separate crime - a robbery in Camden County - is now the county's lead prosecutor, Mary Eva Colalillo.

Colalillo has declined to recuse herself from this case. She will determine whether to present it to a grand jury, which would review whether the officer who shot Brown used justified force.

The last police-involved shooting in Camden County happened in November 2015, when police in Camden fatally shot Freddy Baez, 24, following a domestic disturbance. Authorities said Baez had exchanged gunshots with two officers, who were not injured.