Note: Members of the press can email the Communications Office to obtain a link to download the recordings.
Neptune Township, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office today released a 911 call, dispatch audio and video footage from body worn cameras, motor vehicle recordings, nearby surveillance video, and additional information related to a police encounter during which a vehicle crash occurred, resulting in the death of the driver and a passenger of the vehicle that crashed, and injuries to two other vehicle occupants riding in the same vehicle. The crash occurred on June 5, 2022, after two Asbury Park police officers, Scott Ritter and Samuel Griffith, attempted to stop the vehicle. A juvenile, 17, of Asbury Park N.J. died shortly after the incident. Dishawn Bellamy, 32, of Asbury Park, NJ, was in critical condition at a nearby hospital until July 7, 2022, when he passed away. The fatal encounter remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators met today with the decedents’ families to review the recordings.
According to the preliminary investigation, the crash occurred at 527 Myrtle Avenue in Neptune Township, N.J. shortly after 7:20 p.m. The officers were in the process of attempting to stop a vehicle in connection with an indictable crime investigation. The two officers were also investigating the sound of shots fired in the area. When the officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, the vehicle continued to drive for less than a mile until the driver eventually struck a tree. Firearms were recovered near the vehicle. As a result of the crash, the juvenile and the driver, Mr. Bellamy, died. Another vehicle occupant, an adult, 25, of Neptune, N.J. was criminally charged by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office with two counts of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun pursuant to NJSA 2C:39-5, second-degree Certain Persons not to Possess Weapons pursuant to NJSA 2C:39-7, and Obstruction of Justice, a disorderly person offense under NJSA 2C:29-1. The other juvenile occupant was also charged in relation to this incident.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.
A copy of the Directive is available at this link:
and a summary of that 10-step process is available at this link: