Newark officer suspended following fatal police-involved shooting

NEWARK — A Newark officer who was involved in a police-involved shooting last month that resulted in the death of the suspect has been suspended, city officials said Tuesday.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose both said transparency is paramount in police involved shootings in order to maintain community trust.

“We have concerns about this shooting and will cooperate fully with the Essex County Prosecutor’s investigation,” Director Ambrose said. “All of the body and dashboard camera recordings have been handed over to prosecutor.”

The incident happened just after 11:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28. A police officer attempted a motor vehicle stop in the area of Thomas Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The officer saw a firearm inside the vehicle, a 4-door black Chrysler 300, and radioed for backup.

Before additional officers arrived, the driver pulled off, initiating a police pursuit.

The suspect vehicle was fired upon by one officer at three locations before the car came to a final stop at Irvine Turner Boulevard and West Kinney Street.

The driver, Greg C. Griffin, 46, and passenger, Andrew Dixon, 34, both of Newark, were transported to University Hospital for treatment. Griffin was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. Dixon was upgraded from critical condition to stable condition. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was found in the suspect car.

Dixon is charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.

“Until an investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is finalized, I believe it is in the best interest of our community members that the officer be suspended,” Director Ambrose said.

The suspended officer has been a member of the Newark Police Division for 18 months.

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