AG: Deadly force against man who killed Jersey City cop Santiago justified

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The lethal force used to kill the man who fatally wounded Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago back in July of 2014 was justified, the State Attorney General’s Office has ruled.

Campbell-Santiago

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has completed its review in accordance with Attorney General Shooting Directive 2006-5 (“Directive”), and concluded that the officers’ use of deadly force in this case was justifiable under the circumstances,” the office said in a release, adding that the facts will not be presented to a grand jury.

Back on July 13, 2014, Campbell, under the influence of alcohol and PCP according to a toxicology report, killed Santiago with a gunshot wound to the head in the parking lot of the Walgreens on Communipaw Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Campbell, who stole the firearm from a Walgreens security guard he overpowered, then engaged in a shootout with other officers before being gunned down.

Private investigator Richie Rivera told Hudson County View at the time that there was “certainly potential for suicide by cop, though Jersey City Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano, a retired cop, dismissed that notion.

“The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice also reviewed the investigation pursuant to Section 10 of the Directive, and agreed with both the conclusion that the use of deadly force was legally justified and with the decision to forego presentation to the Grand Jury,” the prosecutor’s office further stated.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office took over the investigation from the Jersey City Police Department to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The postmortem exam determined that Campbell was struck eight times, including once in the head and several times to the side and back of the torso, the prosecutor’s office also explained.

In September 2014, the North Jersey chapter of the National Action Network hosted a rally in Jersey City to speak out against police brutality, which they believed Campbell was a victim of.

Santiago, who was posthumously promoted to detective, saw Jersey City’s West District Police Station named after him and a law in his honor will enforce stricter rules and regulations for armed security guards.