Body camera footage has been released in the police-involved shooting outside Absecon’s Dollar General that left a man wounded.
Five officers from Absecon and Pleasantville discharged their weapons, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the shooting under Attorney General’s Guidelines.
She explains that the man got into a customer’s car, “and the owner ripped him out and now he’s standing in front of my store.”
Moments later, the woman calls back in a panic.
After being transferred from Pleasantville’s dispatch to Absecon, the woman yells: “I need … I need officers here now.”
A woman makes her way out as Whitted raises his hands, a phone is clearly seen in his left hand. His right hand is empty. What appears to be a gun is seen out of his right pocket.
“I have one at gunpoint,” the officer relays.
But as he asks Whitted to stop, the man replies: “Shoot.”
The officer backs up as Whitted continues forward, answering each “Stop” with a request to shoot.
Another officer joins in at this time, begging Whitted to stop.
“Please, we do not want to shoot you,” he says. “Sir, we do not want to shoot you.”
It’s clear Whitted is known to several of the officers, who call him by name.
Whitten had previous interactions with police. His mother, Kim Whitted, has said her son is schizophrenic and has received treatment.
“Don’t do it, it’s not worth it, Jalial,” one officer says.
“Jalial, please don’t do it,” yells another.
“Everything is OK, Jalial,” another officer yells.
The phone in Whitted’s hand belonged to another customer, one video shows.
“He’s got my phone, too,” a woman tells an arriving officer.
“Who is he?” he asks her.
“I don’t know,” she replied, before apparently noticing something else Whitted has.
She then runs across New Road.
At one point, Whitted is seen putting his arm down toward the gun. An officer begs him to stop. He then brings his hand back up.
After Whitted puts both hands on the hood of a car, it seems things may be over.
Then something changes and shots ring out.
“Stop firing!” is then heard. “Cease fire!”
“The gun is on the ground,” officers yell.
Whitted is still upright, leaning on the car.
Then, he slumps onto his back.
“Don’t reach,” officers yell.
He is then put in handcuffs at gunpoint.
After the shooting, his mother is seen talking to police.
“Did he have a gun?” the officer asks.
“No he don’t have no gun,” his mother yells.
“There’s a gun on the floor,” a female officer then tells her.
“Where?” Kim Whitted asks.
“There is a gun on the floor,” the officer repeats, pointing.
“Where the hell did that come from?” Whitted asks.
“I don’t know,” the officer responds.
Whitted said her son had been at her home all night.
The body camera footage also shows the effects the shooting has on the officers involved.
Any weapons that were discharged are collected and the officers involved are told to speak to no one yet, and not to turn off their body cameras. They also must be kept apart so as not to talk to one another about what happened.
A Pleasantville officer appears frozen with the gun in his hand as an Absecon officer, who also fired his weapon, tells him to holster the weapon. The officer doesn’t move, and has to have the gun removed by another officer.
“I’m more worried about that Pleasantville officer,” the Absecon officer says when taken into a car to wait. “He seemed stuck.”
“The officers indicated that they fired to protect the lives of the nearby public, their own lives and the lives of their fellow officers,” the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office wrote in a news release that accompanied links to the body camera footage and 911 calls.
The release of the video from the body-worn cameras is part of policies established by the Office of the Attorney General meant to promote fair, impartial and transparent investigations of police-involved shootings.
Kim Whitted met with detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and was shown the recordings before they were made public, according to the release.
The investigation is ongoing.