Justice for Maurice Gordon: #Sayhisname #BlackLivesMatter

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On May 23, a routine traffic stop ended with a New Jersey State Police trooper shooting a black man to death on the side of the Garden State Parkway. Maurice Gordon, 28, of Poughkeepsie, New York, was unarmed and waiting with a white trooper for a tow truck to arrive because his car wouldn’t restart, according to the attorney for Gordon’s family.

Thousands of miles away in London, his mother and sister could not believe the news. He was a chemistry student and a driver for UberEats who stayed out of trouble, they said, so they couldn’t imagine why a trooper had shot him. Their attorney is trying to get answers from authorities. But answers have been hard to come by, they say, and they only feel more helpless and hopeless each day.

The family’s attorney has been able to learn only basic details of what happened, and said the Attorney General’s Office, which investigates police shootings, only let him see a portion of the police video footage.

Wagstaff said he learned Gordon was stopped by the trooper in Bass River Township for a speeding violation, but when the officer asked him to pull his car to a different spot on the highway, the car wouldn’t start. The officer called for a tow truck, he said.

“Mr. Gordon did not want to remain in his vehicle so he was invited by the trooper to sit in the back of the trooper’s vehicle,” Wagstaff said. He was frisked for weapons, and none were found, the attorney said. 

“Once in the back of the trooper’s vehicle he was made to sit there for more than 30 minutes without any information being provided, not being issued a ticket, and there was no indication he was under arrest,” Wagstaff said.

Gordon twice removed his seatbelt and put it back on as the trooper instructed. But the third time, as he apparently removed his seatbelt and tried to get out of the cruiser, the trooper got physical with him and eventually shot him multiple times, Wagstaff said. He then handcuffed the bleeding man, the attorney said.

The killing on the parkway in Burlington County occurred two days before the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. That incident resulted in multiple officers’ arrests and sparked protesters across the U.S. and the world to take to the streets, demanding change and chanting his name along with “Black Lives Matter.” 

We have seen the same narrative time and time again: a routine traffic stop escalated into a deadly situation for a person of color. WWNG felt the repercussions following the death of Maurice Gordon. We send our condolences to the family and friends of Maurice Gordon, and of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor – to all victims of hate crime and communities of color. Women Who Never Give Up, Inc. calls upon you NOW to sign this petition in order to achieve justice for Maurice Gordon and his loved ones! #SayHisName #BlackLivesMatter

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