PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A grieving father is calling for justice after two auxiliary police officers were charged with official misconduct. Investigators said the volunteers saw a man involved in a fatal crash, but did nothing to help him.
On a Paterson street corner, candles were burning and tempers were flaring on Friday.
It was a terrible accident under suspicious circumstances that killed motorcycle rider Randolph Waddy back on April 17, but the victim’s father hopes to channel his anger into action.
He’s the imam at a Paterson mosque.
“So it’s imperative that we keep a level head and use that fuel of anger to try to attain justice for my son,” Hamzah Abdus-Salaam said.
Auxiliary officers Juan Martinez and Jonathan Lopez were charged with official misconduct. The Passaic County prosecutor said the two wrongly used a city Office of Emergency Management vehicle — with lights and sirens — to attempt an unauthorized traffic stop of Waddy, just before he fatally crashed his motorcycle.
Prosecutors charge Martinez and Lopez saw the crash, but did not stop, render aid or call for help. Instead, they left the scene.
The charges came after three and a half weeks of community concern that the truth of what happened that night would somehow be covered up.
“Everybody’s just been a little aggravated, a little mad, just trying to get a little justice,” family friend Jazz Green said.
Many feel the official misconduct charges were not enough.
“This should actually be looked at as a homicide,” the imam said.
Several witnesses claim the auxiliary officers caused the accident by hitting Waddy’s motorcycle.
“I definitely question what they did, and why they did it. It’s very disturbing,” City Council President Anthony Davis said.
Davis said questions remain which must be answered as the investigation continues.
After the accident, Paterson suspended its auxiliary police program, and is reviewing procedures and training, officials said.
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