Man Dies While in Phil Murphy’s State Police Custody

TOTOWA, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of a 51-year-old man, who died earlier today after he was arrested by a New Jersey state trooper during a motor vehicle stop outside the State Police Totowa Substation. The man was placed under arrest after the state trooper discovered suspected narcotics in his vehicle.

The man suffered an undetermined medical emergency shortly after being arrested at approximately 11:30 a.m., and being placed in the back of a police vehicle. The trooper, as well as other responding troopers and paramedics, administered medical aid and the man was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:05 p.m. The identity of the decedent is not being released at this time.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a law enacted in January 2019, P.L.2019, c.1, which requires the Attorney General’s Office to investigate all civilian deaths resulting from an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in law enforcement custody. Here, according to the preliminary investigation, there was no use of force by the arresting trooper or any responding troopers; rather, the Attorney General’s Office is conducting this investigation because the decedent died while in law enforcement custody.


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