June 26, 2019 | 75° F

Rutgers Black Lives Matter protests fatal police shooting of Franklin man


Members of the Rutgers and New Brunswick community marched through the streets of the city Thursday to protest the fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Diahlo Grant on April 9.

Joining together on Thursday afternoon, hundreds of members of the Rutgers and New Brunswick community marched through the streets of the city to protest the fatal shooting of a Franklin man. 

On April 9, Franklin officers shot and killed 27-year-old Diahlo Grant after chasing him down Somerset Street. Police followed Grant over the border into New Brunswick and exchanged gunfire at 1:31, according to a statement that day from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. Grant died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital two hours later. 

More than three months later, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which is handing the investigation, has not released any additional information to the public or the family, Rutgers' Black Lives Matter wrote on their Facebook page.

The Black Lives Matter chapter of Rutgers University held a march for Grant on Thursday, gathering on Somerset Street and walking through New Brunswick to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.  

Jenny Chenik, a University of Massachusetts Hampshire College student, believes the Prosecutor's Office should have released additional information to the family by now. 

"I think when the police are trying to foster better relationships with the community, this is the most important thing they need to do," she said. 

Grant had warrants for non-payment of child support in Middlesex County and for violation of probation on a drug charge in Somerset County, according to NJ Advance Media, but friends and family are still searching for the reason he was confronted by police on April 9.

Sarra Ferreira, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, called Grant's death is "fishy."

“I just think that it's fishy and you have to question what the higher ups are telling you and you don’t know anything that happened that night," she said. "I don’t think it’s right that the guy was buried and the family doesn’t know anything."

Protestors called for greater police transparency and peaceful interactions with officers.

Ejimma Parris, a member of the New Brunswick community, said he is concerned as a black man in the United States.

"We have to stand with our young generation," Parris said. "This system it is totally corrupt and nothing can repair it."

In an effort to increase public trust and accountability, the Rutgers University Police Department announced earlier this week that all its officers would be equipped with body cameras by the start of the semester. Fourteen officers have already been employed with the technology. 

Kristen Charlery

Avalon Zoppo

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