Protesters around the country are once again speaking out against racial disparities in police use of force in response to a video that shows two Bridgeton, New Jersey, officers shooting and killing a black man as he held his hands up.
A dashboard camera recorded the encounter, including the moments police pulled over a car and shot and killed the passenger, 36-year-old Jerame Reid.
Warning: The following video contains graphic footage of the shooting:
Jerame Reid was shot while he held his hands up
The video shows two police officers pulling over and approaching a car in which Reid was the passenger. The Associated Press reported one of the officers, Braheme Days, is black; the other, Roger Worley, is white.
The officers said they stopped the car because it ran a stop sign. But the situation got tense when Days warned his partner that he saw a gun in the glove compartment. The officers pulled out their guns. Days yelled, "Don't you fucking move," "I'm going to shoot you," "You're going to be fucking dead," and "Show me your fucking hands!" Days also appeared to remove a silver handgun from the car.
Reid disobeyed the orders not to move, telling the officers he's getting out of the car. When Reid stepped out of the vehicle with his hands at shoulder level, both officers fired, killing him.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave while prosecutors investigate the shooting.
Jerame Reid had a criminal record
Reid spent about 13 years in prison for shooting at three state troopers when he was a teenager, the Associated Press reported. Days, the black officer involved in the traffic stop, was also among arresting officers when Reid in 2014 was charged for drug possession and other crimes.
Between 2012 and 2014, Worley was involved in 23 uses of force and Days in 11, according to records obtained by the Associated Press. Other officers in the Bridgeton Police Department were involved in more incidents of use of force.
The Associated Press found Days and Worley were also the subjects of multiple complaints alleging abuses of power over the past two years, but all the complaints were dismissed.
Police are much more likely to shoot black Americans
Reid's death comes as demonstrators around the nation continue protesting over racial disparities in the criminal justice system and police use of force.
Police are disproportionately likely to kill black Americans, according to the available, limited FBI data. These racial disparities remain even in situations in which a shooting victim wasn't attacking anyone else; some of these victims were instead killed while fleeing, committing a felony, or resisting arrest.
There were several high-profile police shootings in 2014 involving black men and boys. In Ferguson, Missouri, Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in a highly contentious shooting that sparked nationwide protests. In Ohio, 22-year-old John Crawford and 12-year-old Tamir Rice were both killed after police mistook toy guns they were carrying for actual weapons. In Utah, police killed 22-year-old Darrien Hunt as he fled after an encounter in which police said Hunt attacked them with a decorative sword.
Police officers in these cases appeared to overestimate the threats posed by their victims, which may be a result of subconscious racial biases. Studies show officers are quicker to shoot black suspects in video game simulations. Josh Correll, a University of Colorado at Boulder psychology professor who conducted the research, said it's possible the bias could lead to more skewed outcomes in the field. "In the very situation in which [officers] most need their training," he said, "we have some reason to believe that their training will be most likely to fail them."