Newark police officer who fatally shot fleeing driver indicted by grand jury

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A Newark police officer has been indicted in connection with an incident in January in which two men fleeing police were shot, one fatally.

An Essex County grand jury charged 26-year-old Jovanny Crespo with six counts. including aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault and official misconduct.
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Candace McCowan reports on the officer's indictment.

On Jan. 28, 35-year-old Andrew Dixon and 46-year-old Gregory Griffin were stopped by an officer in the area of Clinton Avenue and Thomas Street.

When the officer tried to ask Griffin questions he pulled away, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens.

He said the investigation revealed there was a handgun in the car.

A number of police cars gave chase. At three separate locations, Crespo fired shots at the car, Stephens said.

Both men in the car were shot in the head. Griffin died the next day. Dixon survived but was seriously injured.

Prosecutors say Crespo showed a reckless disregard for human life by shooting into a moving vehicle that had heavily tinted windows.
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Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens announced the indictment.

"I take no pleasure in making this announcement," said Stephens. "But in this case as in every case, we must go where the facts, the law and the evidence take us."

The officer was taken into custody and will face a detention hearing.

If convicted on all counts, he faces life in prison.

This is the first fatal police-involved shooting to result in an indictment in Essex County in recent memory, Stephens said.

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