The mayor of Bridgeton is asking his community “not to rush to judgment” while an investigation into the police-involved fatal shooting of Jerame C. Reid continues.
In a guest column for South Jersey Times, Mayor Albert B. Kelly, said that once an investigation into the shooting is complete, the community will be informed of the results.
“That the process is not fast enough for some is certainly understandable, but we should rather endure that frustration at present than to jump to conclusions prematurely only to have to amend them later on,” Kelly wrote.
Last week at a contentious City Council meeting, Kelly said much of the same to Press of Atlantic City.
His column was published nearly a week after protestors demanded City Council to condemn the shooting death of Reid, a request which the council denied. That evening, Kelly also said that it was improper to involve his office in any ongoing police investigation.
Reid, 36, was fatally shot by two officers, Braheme Days and Roger Worley, during a traffic stop Dec. 30. Police have said that a handgun was revealed and recovered during the stop, but authorities have not yet commented on what prompted the stop.
In his column, which was published Monday, Kelly said the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday should serve as a reminder “that the choice between division and unity, like the choice between building up and tearing down, is not a new one, but it is one that requires reaffirming and renewal… and is intended for times such as these.”
Kelly said that it is his responsibility to make sure peaceful protestors are protected, and that the community is kept informed as to events of that evening. He also again expressed condolences to the Reid family and thanked them for their calls for restraint and peaceful protest in Bridgeton.
But, he reiterated his stance that it is improper to involve himself or his office in the ongoing investigation.
Ultimately, Kelly stressed that Bridgeton will have to move forward as a community after the investigation is complete. He added that the fatal shooting was “an opportunity, albeit a difficult one for our city to become “a national model of peace, reconciliation, and community dialogue.”