Video of police shooting of Dixon Rodriguez released
Thirty-three-year-old Dixon Rodriguez of Perth Amboy was shot and killed by police in 2013 after allegedly attacking an officer with a knife.
His mother says she called police when her son, who suffers from mild schizophrenia, became aggressive after not taking his medication.
Police have since cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, but the family claims Rodriguez never had a knife.
Now, 15 months after the shooting, the incident is back in the headlines with the release of this surveillance video.
The video comes from a deli across the street, making it difficult to get a sense of what happened.
But, according to the lawyer representing the family of Rodriguez, the footage only tells them what they already knew.
"It will help our case. I think it supports the allegation and the complaint that Mr. Rodriguez did not have a knife, that the Rodriguez residence was roped off in a crime scene and one of the officers entered the premises and took a kitchen knife out of the kitchen and planted it on Mr. Rodriguez," said Rodriguez family lawyer Gary Chester.
Middlesex County Prosecutor's office initially refused to release this video, reportedly saying its broadcast would interfere with the investigation. That didn't sit well with one NJ attorney, Walter Luers of Clinton.
Luers called it an issue of government transparency, driving him to bring a lawsuit against the prosecutor's office for the video's release.
"Other parts of the investigations were released. The 911 tapes were released. The use of force reports were released. Why couldn't the video be released as part of that? It could have been and it should have been," Luers said.
The prosecutor released the video shortly after the lawsuit arose. Chasing News reached out to Prosecutor Andrew Carey for comment, but he has yet to respond.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit by the Rodriguez family is continuing. The jury's out on whether this video will help their case.