Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner has released dashboard camera video of a fatal police shooting after a Supreme Court ruling earlier this month made it public.
Antoquan Watson, 27, led police on an 11-minute chase from Pleasantville through three towns on March 27, 2014.
The chase began when police were called to La Escondida II Restaurant in Pleasantville, where Watson was seen with a gun, muttering to himself.
It ended when Watson crashed at Atlantic City’s Walk, and then exchanged fire with police.
The video was captured by the dashboard camera on a Pleasantville police car.
“My only hope is that people will view release of this video as an effort toward transparency, which we all understand is important,” said Pleasantville Police Chief Sean Riggin, who was a captain at the time of the chase. “And I hope that no one will view this as spectating.”
That is the concern with the public release of these types of videos, he said.
Pleasantville had three officers involved in the chase and shooting. Atlantic City had four officers in the case.
On June 23, 2015, a grand jury cleared all seven officers of any wrongdoing.
The video starts when Officer Elvis Nunez leaves the parking lot of the Pleasantville Police Department, and heads toward the Black Horse Pike, where at least two other cars are already in pursuit.
They head down the pike toward the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township.
When Watson nears Chelsea Heights, he cuts across two lanes of traffic to turn onto West End Avenue and head into Ventnor.
He winds up crossing Dorset Avenue and nearly strikes a woman walking her dog as he takes a quick left. As he winds through the back streets of Ventnor Heights, he slows at stop signs and even uses his turn signal each time, before heading back onto Wellington Avenue, leading back to Atlantic City.
He makes a tight squeeze between two vehicles stopped at the light onto Albany Avenue.
There, an Atlantic City officer radioed that he fired a shot, which the city’s gunshot audio-detection system confirmed.
In pursuit, the Pleasantville officer curses out one of the drivers for not getting out of the way, but quickly catches up to Watson after cutting across traffic one over the bridge.
Driving along Atlantic Avenue, a gun is briefly seen extended out of the driver’s side window just after Watson passes the Public Safety Building.
Then, what appears to be trash starts being thrown from the vehicle.
At the exit from the Atlantic City Expressway, Watson runs the red light, and strikes another vehicle, sending him into a spin.
He gets out of the vehicle with gun raised, and the exchange of gunfire is seen and heard. After several shots, Watson falls to the ground, still with the gun and cigarette in his hands.
Several more shots are fired, and then police come out to check on him.