Men shot by Jersey City officers while setting off fireworks to sue PD, city

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- The lawyer for two men shot by three Jersey City police officers while setting off fireworks say they plan to sue the city.

Thomas Ashley, who represents 21-year-old Devante Moore and 19-year-old Shyquan Rush, says his clients didn't have any weapons when the officers opened fire Monday night. He's alleging excessive force after he said the officers began firing without warning.

Moore and Rush were taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where they were treated and released.

Ashley says some facts in the case may be in question, but one thing is clear.

"There were so many shots fired, and no one had any weapons but the police," he said.

Ashley said his clients, who both have broken bones in their legs, had just walked by Jersey City police and that the officers didn't say a word and didn't even ask them to stop with the Roman candles.

"They had no interaction whatsoever with the police prior to the time that they were shot from the rear," he said.

The Jersey City Police Department said they believe the shooting was justified, and they released a statement saying, "There are no indications of any violations of the attorney general guidelines on the officers' part."

"Number one, they shot these individuals from behind," Ashley said. "Number two, the individuals were unarmed. And number three, they posed no threat whatsoever to the police."

The matter is now being investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, which will decide if the shooting violates any state guidelines and if further action is warranted against the officers.

The two men plan to sue the officers and the city.

No police officers were injured, but two of them were also taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Ashley said the victims will cooperate fully with the investigation.

He is also calling on Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to denounce the shooting and wants the officers involved to be suspended pending an investigation.

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