Lawyers handling the appeal of a man fatally shot in Camden County, New Jersey have filed papers in federal court appealing the dismissal of a wrongful death action filed by the deceased man’s estate.
Eric Quick, a 31-year old Burlington County resident, allegedly led police on a chase through Camden County in the summer of 2003. The chase ended with Quick abandoning the stolen vehicle he was driving on I-295 in Bellmawr. Quick ran into the nearby woods, allegedly holding a glass crack pipe in one hand. Believing the pipe was a weapon, police opened fire on Quick. 39 shots were fired at Quick, 18 of which hit their mark.
In February, a federal district court judge threw out a civil suit against the officers. The suit alleged that Quick posed no threat to the officers, who used excessive force by opening fire on the unarmed man. New Jersey appeal lawyer Andrew Smith argues in his third circuit appeal that the district court judge ignored testimony by his expert and by the state’s medical examiner.
A 2005 criminal investigation into the incident resulted in the officers being cleared. A similar high-profile incident took place a few years ago in Morris County, with an unarmed man being shot to death by police after a high speed chase. In that case, the suspect was finally cornered before ramming his vehicle into the surrounding police cars. Police, fearing for their own safety, opened fire on the man, resulting in his death.
Eluding police officers and resisting arrest frequently escalates simple charges such as traffic violations and drug offenses into life or death situations by creating a extremely high safety risk to the officers and suspects. If you see police lights behind you, pull over. If an officer attempts to place you under arrest, let them. You can always challenge the legality of the arrest or stop in court, with the assistance of a competent New Jersey criminal defense attorney.