N.J. releases video in Paterson police shooting of Christopher Clark

Surveillance footage from May 23, 2020. (N.J. Attorney General's Office)

Surveillance footage from May 23, 2020. (N.J. Attorney General's Office)

New Jersey authorities have released video footage and radio transmissions related to a May 23 police shooting that left Paterson resident Christopher Clark dead.

None of the dashcam and surveillance videos made public Friday capture the shooting itself, but they give an indication of what happened in the moments before the early morning gunfire.

According to officials, Passaic County Sheriff’s Officers responded to a ShotSpotter notification indicating gunfire on Park Avenue around 1:10 a.m.

Three sheriff’s officers — Sgt. Americo Escobar, Sgt. Helman Fava, and Sgt. Jose Vargas — responded to the notification from the gunfire detection system. They said when they approached Clark on foot he began to run.

In a surveillance video, Clark can be seen running down a sidewalk being pursued by the officers. Off camera, the three officers shot and killed Clark around 1:16 a.m.

Authorities said they found a loaded .45-caliber pistol near Clark’s body.

There was no body camera footage of the shooting.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is continuing to investigate the shooting, pursuant to a state law that requires the state’s top law enforcement official to investigate any death that occurs in police custody in the state.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released the video footage and radio transmissions Friday as part of a directive he signed to disclose such records of an in-custody death after the initial investigation is “substantially complete,” which is typically within 20 days.

The shooting will ultimately be presented to a grand jury, a requirement under state law.

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