Protesters rally against alleged police brutality
A day after New Brunswick resident Barry Deloatch was pronounced dead after an altercation with the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), those who knew him protested in front of City Hall on Bayard Street against instances of alleged police brutality in New Brunswick.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said authorities are investigating the fatal shooting, in which the 47-year-old Deloatch was killed in an early morning altercation with the NBPD.
Two officers from the NBPD encountered Deloatch around 12:12 a.m. yesterday near Throop Avenue in downtown New Brunswick, where a foot chase ended in an alleyway as shots were fired, Kaplan said in a statement.
Deloatch was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick at 12:37 a.m., suffering from the two gunshots in his back.
Further details of the incident are still under investigation, and autopsy results from the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office are not yet available.
According to the statement, NBPD adhered to the use-of-force guidelines established by the state’s Office of the Attorney General and immediately notified the prosecutor’s office following the shooting.
“It was an unjustified, excess use of force — look how many people they hurt over here,” said 39-year-old Sanford James, a friend of Deloatch, regarding the shooting. “We grew up together from the projects to where we are now. The way [NBPD] did it ain’t right.”
The NBPD was unavailable for comment at press time.
James said he never thought of Deloatch as a criminal.
“I knew him very well. I saw him mind his business, working and riding his bike,” said James, a New Brunswick resident.
At the protest, 26-year-old Anthony White of New Brunswick held a up sheet that read “Assassinated” followed by a list of names of victims of NBPD police shootings, including Deloatch and Carolyn “Sissy” Adams, who was shot and killed in 1996 by an NBPD officer.
“This is not just for murders, it’s for victims of police brutality,” said Fahiyn Torres, 40, of New Brunswick. “An officer broke my brother’s jaw in the police station, but they’re going to hide that.”
Torres said he and other friends of Deloatch have gotten used to the department’s actions and attitudes towards people in his neighborhood.
“It’s just another injustice. It’s sad [we’ve become] immune to this,” he said. “They treat the people in the ghetto environment as criminals, but they have no choice other than to be there.”
White said the other night his neighbors called the NBPD on him after hearing a verbal argument between White and his girlfriend escalate.
“When they got there, I surrendered myself on the front porch. Immediately they were looking for blood, they slammed me on the trunk of the car,” he said. “There was no assessment of the situation.”
James said he hopes justice will come from holding the protest.
“We really want justice for all of those people, all of the cases that haven’t been heard,” he said. “You can run a thousand times, but there’s no need to shoot an unarmed man.”
Deloatch’s brothers, Benny and Nate Deloatch, believe the brutality needs to stop.
“I don’t want to see anyone else’s little brother be a victim, and they won’t be if we stop this now,” Benny Deloatch said. “My brother was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Nate Deloatch said his brother did not deserve to be shot.
“My brother was an innocent man, he didn’t deserve two slugs in his back,” he said. “They killed my little brother.”
Benny Deloatch said despite the tragedy the shooting caused in his family, they must stay strong and stand out against police brutality.
“We learn how to smile through something like this. This ain’t just Barry, it happens to so many in this,” he said. “I thought they killed gangsters. We’re just country folks. Who is watching over us? We pay them to kill us?”