January 22, 2021

Porch

State officials released video Wednesday that partially captures a Clifton police vehicle hitting a woman who later died.

The footage was taken last month from the porch of a home near the accident. It captured audio of screeching brakes and a crashing sound, and shows the vehicle come to a sudden stop next to a house, lights still flashing.

Neither the driver, officer Garrell Middleton, or the 65-year-old pedestrian, who was not identified, are visible.

The state attorney general’s office is required to investigate every time somebody dies after an encounter with police. A grand jury will eventually review the case to decide if Middleton did anything wrong, but the pandemic has halted juries.

Officials regularly release video of police custody deaths during the investigation, but recent releases from Voorhees, Ventnor, Asbury Park and Trenton were all taken from body worn cameras.

Clifton is one of the majority of New Jersey departments that still do not have body cameras. The agency also does not have dashboard cameras, according to Clifton Det. Lt. Robert Bracken, although they are in the process of getting body cameras.

In an email, Bracken declined to comment on the accident.

Around 7:11 p.m. on Oct. 22, Middleton was driving to a “crime in progress,” officials previously said.

The woman was hit at the intersection of Allwood Road and Brookwood Road, according to a press release.

Middleton gave “medical aid” to the woman, officials said. Paramedics took her to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, and she was pronounced dead at 7:42 p.m.

The footage released Wednesday was previously provided to a representative for the victim and her family, officials said.

Other video from that night exists, but the clip released was the only one that captured the incident, according to the press release.

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Blake Nelson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @BCunninghamN.

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