The family of a Black man fatally shot by a New Jersey state trooper last year is suing the state – alleging race was a factor in his death. According to video released by the attorney general’s office, Gordon was engaged in a traffic stop on the Garden State Parkway before being shot six times. Maurice Gordon Jr’s family says officials failed to protect Gordon and other Black men- despite a history of troopers disproportionately subjecting people of color to violence.
About a dozen audio and video recordings released by the attorney general’s office show a routine traffic stop turned into a tussle outside the camera’s view. The attorney general’s office says Gordon tried to enter the driver’s seat of the cruiser twice before the fight.
Gordon died last May, two days before George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. The lawsuit names the state, attorney general, state police superintendent and the trooper who shot Gordon as defendants. The family is seeking $50 million in damages plus punitive damages.