Watch: NJ cop turns head for split second and knife-wielding suspect lunges

A dangerous encounter between a New Jersey police officer and a blade-wielding suspect stood as a prime example that “Complacency kills.”

Friday, officers from the New Brunswick Police Department were on scene supporting the Franklin Township Police after reports alerted the authorities to a man wielding a large knife or a machete. A standoff that straddled the line between two counties ensued and lasted until one officer averted his gaze for a moment too long.

Graphic video of the incident shared by former police officer and SWAT team member Cody Garrett, known on social media as Donut Operator, showed as no fewer than eight officers stood opposite the suspect in what was later described as an effort to “deescalate” the conflict.

“Complacency kills,” Garrett captioned the video as he described, “Police in New Brunswick, NJ confront a man with machete. The officer turns his head for a split second and that’s all the time it takes for the armed man to be on top of him. Shots were fired and the suspect is reportedly in stable condition.”

According to a statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, officers were responding to “a report of an assault in progress involving a man armed with a knife.”

“Upon arrival, the police officers attempted to deescalate the situation; however, the individual lunged at the officers with the knife,” the statement continued. “In response, officers shot at and struck the individual.”

As seen in the video, as soon as the suspect had come within striking range of their fellow officer, drawn weapons were fired, repelling the attack and sending the charging suspect to the ground.

According to a report from New Brunswick Today, the suspect was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after sustaining injuries during the incident, but was said to be in stable condition.

The outlet indicated that two of the New Brunswick officers had discharged their firearms and a video appeared to show a taser being deployed. However, it was unclear if officers from Franklin Township had fired their service weapons.

A statement from Frank Roman of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office noted, “This incident which began in Franklin Township subsequently transitioned into New Brunswick.”

Though the identity of the suspect had not been provided, Danielle Moore, a resident of the area, said that this was not the first time that law enforcement had interacted with the man and the argument was made that the officers had treated him unjustly because of the color of his skin.

“I don’t see things being treated equal,” contended Moore to News12 New Jersey. “I say it’s all about the color of the skin when it comes to Mayor Jim Cahill and the New Brunswick Police Department. I hope that the police department will go through a change but like I said, I’m just seeing too much racism.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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