AG’s Office Releases Video Footage Related to Fatal Accident In Which Police Vehicle Struck Pedestrian In Camden

Grewal with Murphy

The Attorney General’s Office today released body worn camera and security camera footage related to the death of Zandra Baez, 66, of Camden, N.J. Ms. Baez died on June 9 after being struck by a police vehicle driven by Camden County Metro Police Officer Kevin Randolph Gilbert Jr.

The fatal incident remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released in response to an OPRA request and pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Prior to today’s release, investigators discussed the matter with Ms. Baez’s relatives and provided copies of the videos to them for their review.

According to the preliminary investigation, Officer Gilbert, who was on-duty and in uniform, was operating a marked patrol vehicle southbound on Mount Ephraim Avenue at approximately 10:55 p.m. on June 9, when he struck Ms. Baez, who was crossing Mount Ephraim Avenue at Woodlynne Avenue. Officer Gilbert was not responding to any call for service at the time. Officer Gilbert immediately stopped and radioed for assistance. Ms. Baez was pronounced deceased at the scene at approximately 11:09 p.m.

The recordings that are being released today include video footage from Officer Gilbert’s body worn camera and footage from two private security cameras near the scene of the accident.

The recordings are posted online: Click here for recordings.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.

A copy of the Directive is available at this link:

https://www.nj.gov/oag/excellence/docs/2019-4_Independent_Prosecutor_Directive.pdf,

and a summary of that 10-step process is available at this link:

https://www.nj.gov/oag/excellence/docs/The-Independent-Prosecutor-Directive.pdf

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