BRIDGETON -- The founder of a South Jersey civil rights group is calling for the state to investigate the fatal shooting of a Bridgeton man by police Friday afternoon.
The Cumberland County prosecutor's office said one of several officers pursuing the man shot him off of South Avenue, where they later recovered a firearm.
He was identified by authorities Saturday as Darryl L. Fuqua, 24, of Ramblewood Drive.Darryl Laqua "De Rose" FuquaFacebook
Friends in the neighborhood who knew Fuqua by a nickname, De Rose, questioned why police shot him. So did Walter L. Hudson Sr., founder and chairman of the National Awareness Alliance in Salem County.
Hudson said in a statement Saturday that he is "deeply troubled" by the Bridgeton police officers' actions and is concerned that the Cumberland County prosecutor's office cannot properly investigate the shooting.
"I am calling for the New Jersey State Attorney General to immediately intervene in this investigation," Hudson said.
The shooting Friday was not far from where a Bridgeton police officer shot and killed Jerame Reid, who exited a vehicle, against police orders, with his hands raised during a tense traffic stop where police had allegedly found a gun in the glovebox.
A grand jury declined to bring charges against the officers that fired at him, Braheme Days and Roger Worley. Philly.com reported that they no longer work in Bridgeton.
Protest calls for justice after Reid's death
Hudson said Reid's shooting shows Bridgeton police and politicians do not "value the lives of Black people in the Bridgeton community."
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae had recused herself from the case because of a conflict of interest.
"Furthermore, the Cumberland County Prosecutors have shown in the past with the improprieties around Jerame Reid, they cannot be trusted with this particular investigation," Hudson said.
The statement from Webb-McRae said her office would investigate in accordance with the attorney general's directive regarding deadly force investigations.
That directive, issued in 2006, says that county prosecutors will conduct investigations unless there is a conflict of interest "or if the matter would be better handled at the state level." In that case the attorney general's Shooting Response Team will investigate.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has introduced legislation to immediately take the investigation out of the local prosecutor guidance when there has been a fatal shooting.
How AG would investigate police killings
The Senate in October passed a bill that would require a special prosecutor from the attorney general's office to investigate every police encounter that results in a death. It has not come to a vote in the Assembly.
The Cumberland County prosecutor's office did not respond to messages seeking additional information about the shooting or a response to Hudson's statement.
At the site of the shooting Saturday, the only signs of the fatal shooting were a paramedic's latex glove left behind and a memorial of balloons, candles and a black bandana tied to a post.
The shooting took place on a dirt driveway that runs between 200 South Ave. and Grove Street. One neighbor said he heard four or five shots fired.
A man who said he goes by the name Zaa Money said he knew De Rose for several years and does not know why police would shoot him.
"He was a good guy. He went to school. He was just living life," he said. He described him as a quiet man.
On social media, friends mourned his loss and remembered him as a great musician.
A resident of the Bridgeton Housing Authority apartment complex on South East Avenue said that De Rose and his mother lived there until they moved about a month ago.
His mother did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.
Rebecca Everett may be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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