Police Shoot and Kill Man With Special Needs in New Jersey, Surveillance Video Seized for Evidence

shot by copsvia WABCPolice in Perth Amboy, New Jersey said they were responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed person yesterday afternoon when they shot and killed 31 or 32-year-old Dixon Rodriguez on the street. Police say they found a knife on Rodriguez after shooting him. The officers who shot Rodriguez say he attacked them with the knife. Neither was seriously injured according to the local prosecutor, who is investigating the incident. Family and neighbors doubt the official story. Via the Star Ledger:

People who live in the neighborhood and at least one family friend were skeptical of the prosecutor’s account.

“We don’t believe Dixon had a knife,” said Joel Perez, who lives nearby on Kearney Avenue. “(Dixon) was someone who had the mind of a six-year-old. It wasn’t in him to do something like this.”

Family friend Carlos Calda said his understanding was that Rodriguez was shot after reaching into his pocket for candy.

“He had gum in his pocket and when he went to take it out he was shot three times,” Calda said.

Calda said a family member described Rodriguez as autistic.

Passerby Brenda Munoz told ABC-TV news she witnessed the shooting and heard an officer say, “I thought he had something.”

Munoz told the station she did not see a knife.

Neighbor Frank Rodriguez of 207 Hall Ave. described the shooting victim as someone who had never been violent before.

"He used to walk around the street asking people for quarters," Rodriguez said. "We knew he had issues, but he's never hurt anybody."

At least one surveillance camera apparently caught the incident on video. Prosecutors have seized that video but it has not been released. Had Rodriguez survived the shooting, perhaps he would’ve been charged with assault.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Prosecutors have seized that video but it has not been released.

    I'm sure that if it differs from the officer's story it will be lost or destroyed.

  • Loki||

    I'm hoping whoever owns the surveillance camera made a copy of it before giving it to the cops, but I highly doubt it. This is probably going to end up another incident of a cop executing someone for the "crime" of being mentally disabled in public.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone went home to their families at the end of the day, and that's all that matters.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, everyone who matters, anyway.

  • Zeb||

    "I thought he had something".

    Well obviously anyone who has something in his pocket is a threat that needs to be eliminated.

    Don't bring a knife (or candy, apparently) to a gun fight.

  • Game of Gnomes||

    He had a Bazooka

    /cop

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    I...you...just...

    *walks slowly out of room*

  • Game of Gnomes||

    The gum

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "He didn't bother nobody. He didn't have any weapon, that's a big lie. I think the police officer overreacted," a neighbor said.

    "He had his hands in his pockets, all the time, he had his hands in his pockets," Rodriguez's aunt said.

    The prosecutor said that is not the description of the man that police encountered.

    Because it couldn't possibly be that the description the police gave is not the man they actually encountered.

  • Loki||

    Surely you're not implying that cops lie to protect themselves. That would imply that they're not the perfect talisman's of all that is good an virtuous that they want us to believe they are.

  • R C Dean||

    And surely the prosecutor wouldn't just take the cops at their word when they say that's not how it went down.

  • GILMORE||

    They weren't told about his Special Need not to be shot.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure the real story is the same as all these other shootings we read about.

    The cop gave an order of some sort which was not immediately obeyed. *BLAM* BLAM* BLAM* BLAM* The end.

  • MJGreen||

    My guess is that they yelled at him to take his hands out of his pockets. When he did, the cop shot him, because he was taking his hands out of his pockets. Who could know what he was taking out of his pockets!?

  • Dave Krueger||

    For many in government, military force (or the threat of it) has become the strategy of first resort when it comes to foreign policy, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that it's also becoming the response of first resort domestically.

    Just wait until they have armed drones (which they will eventually have regardless of any rhetoric to the contrary). I can see it now: Drones armed with sniper rifles for taking out those who pose a "threat", complete with a means of dropping a "throw-down" in cases where an innocent is killed.

  • Loki||

    I'm thinking the Perth Amboy police could some training on how to deal with retarded people.

    "First off, the retarded don't rule the night. They don't rule it. Nobody does. And they don't run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake."

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    So you are gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors?

  • Steve G||

    Warning rhetorical question ahead:
    So are police today so ill-trained that two of them can't disarm a single person w/ a knife? I'm mean seriously, what happened to these basic hand-to-hand skills?? But even barring that, a baton or taser couldn't be in the realm of the possible here?

  • Loki||

    Based on the physique of the average cop I'm not surprised they don't know any hand to hand skills. Sloppy fat fucks generally aren't very good fighters, afterall.

  • mfckr||

    The police credo is to serve & protect the state—and by extension, themselves. They could give fuckall about serfs getting in the way of their bullets.

  • Mainer2||

    I know whenever I see someone reach in their pocket, I kill them. Totally justified. After all, they might "have something".

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