News

Grand Jury Declines To Indict New Brunswick Officers In Fatal Shooting

Barry Deloatch's Son 'Distraught' Over Decision And Vows To Continue Fight
Barry Deloatch, New Brunswick man fatally shot by police on Sept. 22, 2011 (Photo courtesy of Deloatch family)

Barry Deloatch, New Brunswick man fatally shot by police on Sept. 22, 2011 (Photo courtesy of Deloatch family)

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two New Jersey police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a New Brunswick man will not be in uniform or on the streets until a departmental review is completed, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said Friday.

Kaplan announced Thursday that a grand jury decided not to bring criminal charges against the officers.

Barry Deloatch’s son, Barry Gavin, left a three-hour, closed-door meeting with Kaplan upset and dissatisfied, saying more could have been done.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg Hears From Deloatch’s Family

“The prosecutor’s office, I really feel like didn’t do the best at their job because if they did, I think it would’ve been a better outcome,” Gavin told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “I’m upset, I’m dissatisfied. I feel like everything is tasteless, like I’m distraught,” Gavin said.

Deloatch was high when he ran from the the police and found himself trapped under a fence, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.  Deloatch then grabbed a stick and was shot.

Police said Deloatch fled when Officers Brad Berdel and Daniel Mazan approached him and two other men on Sept. 22 because the officers said the men were behaving suspiciously. The chase ended with Berdel shooting Deloatch once, killing him.

Police said the 46-year-old Deloatch threatened Officer Mazan with a wooden board. But Deloatch’s family said he was unarmed, and prosecutors noted the officers didn’t have their police-issued batons at the time. Berdel also didn’t have his chemical spray.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor said he’s received assurances the New Brunswick police officers’ failure to carry batons and chemical spray with them during the incident has been addressed within the department.

Patricia Bombelyn, a lawyer for Deloatch’s family, said Kaplan was unable to say during a meeting earlier Friday what corrective action has been taken following the killing.

“That was a bitter pill to swallow, that there was no indictment here,” Bombelyn said. “But that really added insult to injury when the prosecutor could not say that any corrective action had been taken.”

After being asked about Bombelyn’s criticism, Kaplan said later in the day that his office had talked with the department about the officers’ failure to carry the equipment. He didn’t comment on the meeting with Bombelyn and family members earlier in the day.

“We received assurance from the director that the issue has been addressed and that he will continue to monitor the situation to ensure compliance,” Kaplan said in a statement.

Bombelyn said it remains unclear how the grand jury determined no crime was committed by the officer.

“The family left today feeling that there’s been no justice brought to them in any respect,” she said. “And they want that. They want to have a sense of justice.”

Kaplan said Thursday that the grand jury met for 11 consecutive weeks, heard 57 witnesses and reviewed 280 exhibits. He said the decision would withstand the scrutiny of a review by any state or federal agency.

“While the shooting is a tragedy on many levels, it is clear that the grand jury conducted a thorough, impartial and independent review,” Kaplan said.

Despite failing to secure an indictment, Bombelyn said the officers have yet to be cleared.  Deloatch’s son also vowed to fight on.

“Just [trying] to seek justice for my dad — he’s a great man, great man,” Barry Gavin said.

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