Videos, Information Released of Poughkeepsie Man Killed by Police
Officials released videos and information over an approximately 30-hour period that led to the fatal shooting of a Hudson Valley man by police.
On Monday afternoon, The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office released audio and video recordings related to the shooting on May 23, on the Garden State Parkway in Bass River, N.J., in which a New Jersey State Trooper fatally shot Maurice Gordon, 28, of Poughkeepsie.
The Attorney General’s Office also released the identity of the State Trooper who shot and killed Gordon, Sgt. Randall Wetzel of Troop “D” of the New Jersey State Police.
The shooting remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. However, the audio and video recordings are being released pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” which governs use-of-force investigations in New Jersey and requires that such records, if requested, be released to the public once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete, generally within 20 days.
The recordings depict five episodes involving Gordon over an approximately 30-hour period, including a 911 call placed by one of Gordon’s friends on the morning of May 22, followed by interactions between Gordon and law enforcement officers in Brick, Waretown, Stafford and Bass River, NJ, on the morning of May 23.
Below is information the Attorney General’s Office released:
- At approximately 3:23 a.m. on May 22, Gordon’s friend called 911 from Poughkeepsie, to express concerns about Mr. Gordon’s wellbeing and whereabouts. Towards the end of the recording, the 911 operator transferred Gordon’s friend to the Poughkeepsie Police Department.
- Information about why Gordon's friend was concerned about Gordon hasn't been released.
Interaction in Brick, NJ:
- At approximately 3:13 a.m. on May 23, 2020, an off-duty Red Bank Police Officer driving a police vehicle pulled up near Gordon’s car, which had run out of gas and was stopped in the middle lane of the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 91 in Brick, N.J.
- A short time later, an off-duty State Trooper driving to work in his personal car pulled over to assist Mr. Gordon and the Red Bank officer. The off-duty State Trooper provided assistance and then departed.
- A short time after the off-duty Trooper departed the scene, a second, on-duty State Trooper pulled up to assist Mr. Gordon and the Red Bank officer.
- The second State Trooper later returned to the scene where Mr. Gordon was stopped with the tow truck driver on the southbound Garden State Parkway in Brick.
Interaction in Waretown, NJ
- At approximately 4:54 a.m. on May 23, 2020, a different State Trooper pulled up behind Mr. Gordon’s car, which was stopped in the left lane of the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 72 in Waretown, New Jersey. The trooper called a tow truck, set out flares and then departed.
- After the State Trooper departed but before the tow truck arrived, a civilian vehicle pulled alongside Gordon’s car and the occupants offered Gordon a ride to a nearby Wawa convenience store to get gas.
- A surveillance camera inside the Wawa captured Gordon and others entering the store at approximately 5:33 a.m. Afterward, Gordon returned to his vehicle and continued driving southbound on the Garden State Parkway.
Interaction in Stafford, NJ
- At approximately 6:13 a.m., a State Trooper stopped Gordon for speeding on the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 62 in Stafford, New Jersey. The Trooper issued a ticket to Gordon, who had allegedly been driving 101 miles per hour.
Interaction in Bass River, NJ
- At approximately 6:26 a.m., Sgt. Wetzel stopped Gordon for speeding on the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 50 in Bass River, New Jersey. Sgt. Wetzel started to write a ticket for Gordon, who had allegedly been driving 110 miles per hour.
- During the stop, Gordon’s vehicle became disabled in the left shoulder and Sgt. Wetzel called a tow truck. While they waited for the tow truck to arrive, Sgt. Wetzel asked Mr. Gordon if he would prefer to sit in the back seat of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle and Mr. Gordon stated that he would.
- After a total of approximately 21 minutes inside Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle, Gordon exited the vehicle when Sgt. Wetzel attempted to offer him a mask, resulting in a confrontation with Sgt. Wetzel.
- During this confrontation, Mr. Gordon attempted to enter the driver seat of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle on two occasions. After the first occasion, Sgt. Wetzel deployed oleoresin capsicum spray.
- After the second occasion, Sgt. Wetzel removed Gordon from the vehicle and, after a physical struggle on the left shoulder of the southbound Parkway, Sgt. Wetzel shot and killed Gordon with his service weapon.
- Sgt. Wetzel fired six times and then placed handcuffs on Gordon.
- At approximately 7:25 a.m., a State Trooper attempted to provide aid to Gordon, but did not detect a pulse. Shortly thereafter, a second State Trooper attempted to administer aid.
- EMS arrived at the scene at approximately 7:28 a.m. and pronounced Mr. Gordon deceased.
The recordings are contained in 12 files, which have been posted online. Click here for files.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner hasn't completed its medical examination report.
Gordon is originally from Jamaica. He moved to the region when he was 19 has been studying chemistry at Dutchess County Community College. The college describes Gordon as being a "standout" student who was "destined for great things."
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.