On January 28, 2019, a Newark, NJ police officer saw a vehicle speeding recklessly through city streets. When the car pulled over, the officer noticed a handgun in the area between the driver and passenger. The driver ignored her requests to keep his hands on the wheel and away from the gun. She urgently called for back-up, but before officers could place the driver and passenger under arrest, the driver took off – recklessly fleeing from officers and placing everyone on the road in grave danger.
Officer Jovanny Crespo responded to assist his fellow officers. As he got close to the suspects’ car he could see the passenger pointing a handgun right at him! In order to protect himself and everyone else in the area, Officer Crespo shot into the car. That didn’t stop the suspects who were intent on getting away no matter what. The chase finally ended when, once again, the suspect raised his handgun toward Officer Crespo. Officer Crespo shot into the vehicle once again – this time the threat ended.
Found within the car was heroin destined for the streets of Newark and a handgun loaded with illegal hollow-point bullets.
But instead of giving him an award to recognize his bravery, the Essex County Prosecutor presented Officer Crespo with an indictment for Aggravated Manslaughter, among other charges. If convicted, Officer Crespo could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Officer Crespo is 26 years-old, a two-year veteran of the Newark Police Department; a husband and father of four children.