And Some You Can’t Disguise

Well, it’s happened again: the New Brunswick Police shot and killed an unarmed Black man.

Investigators recovered a bullet from scene[sic] where New Brunswick police fatally shot a man last week, and relatives are cooperating in the investigation authorities said today.

In a statement released late today, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said two dozen investigators from his office have interviewed 37 people about the fatal shooting of 47-year-old city resident Barry Deloatch.

“Many of these witnesses who were identified and-or[sic] came forward did so because of the assistance and encouragement of community leaders, and because of some of Mr. Deloatch’s relatives, who are cooperating with law enforcement,” Kaplan said in the statement.

Relatives of Deloatch have participated in several rallies protesting the shooting and demanding an investigation by an agency outside Middlesex County.

Relatives have said a witness told them Deloatch was shot as he ran from police. Residents have said they will continue demonstrations.

Note the prosecutor’s emphasis on the word cooperation. In early accounts, the police would not talk to the family, leading to understandable and familiar community outrage.

“Let’s face it, New Brunswick has had a troubled police department for a very long time,” Deborah Jacobs, a local representative from the American Civil Liberties Union, said at the meeting. She asked people to sign a letter by ACLU urging the federal government to probe the shooting.

Jacobs also showed the crowd a “bust card,” detailing the rights a civilian has when stopped by police.

The New Brunswick-area branch of NAACP organized the meeting Wednesday. “NAACP has been involved with this from the outset and will continue to be involved until justice has been served for Barry Deloatch and processes are in place to stop these wanton killings in our community,” NAACP president Bruce Morgan said in an email announcing the meeting.

The call for an investigating agency outside Middlesex County is a smart one.

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