Former New Jersey Police Officer Sentenced: Know More

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A former New Jersey police officer who shot one man and injured another during a high-speed automobile chase in the city of Newark five and a half years ago has been sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison.

Former Newark officer Jovanny Crespo was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated manslaughter and seven years for aggravated assault in the January 2019 chase on Friday by Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin. Ravin cited the need to discourage officers from what he called a “shoot-first, ask-questions-later” mentality. NJ.com reported on the case.

The judge also ordered six-year penalties for official misconduct, which will run simultaneously with the other sentences. Those sentences will run consecutively. According to NJ.com, when the judge informed 31-year-old Crespo that he would not be eligible for parole for 22 years and 11 months, he sank back into his chair and his family members started crying.

Crespo had earlier sobbed as his sister and mother pleaded for forgiveness. Later, he got up to briefly apologize to the families of the victims.

During the pursuit, Crespo was seen firing three times and jumping out of his patrol car on the dashboard and police body camera footage. According to state rules, deadly force can only be used by an officer or another person who is in “imminent danger” of death or serious bodily harm, according to Essex County prosecutors.

Isaac Wright Jr., the defence lawyer, had asked the judge for leniency, arguing that Crespo was inexperienced and had not received proper training and that the supervisors ought to have cancelled the pursuit in January 2019. According to the prosecution, he completed almost six months of training at the police academy where he learned how to use lethal force appropriately.

The five-minute pursuit through Newark, which resulted in the murder of 46-year-old motorist Gregory Griffin and the critical injuries of his passenger, was described by Ravin as “extensively trained” and as “an abhorrent abuse of police power.”

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