TRENTON–A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Francis Delacruz Abad, 21, of Trenton, N.J., who was injured in a crash while he was driving away from Hamilton Township Police Detective Brian Davis on May 25, 2021. Davis was attempting to pull over Mr. Abad who was on a scooter, when Mr. Abad collided with a third-party vehicle. Mr. Abad died of his injuries two days later.
Mr. Abad’s death was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019. In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.
The investigation included interviews of witnesses, photographs, review of body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence, including video of the aftermath of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations Monday, May 8, 2023, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against Detective Davis.
According to the investigation, the crash occurred just after 9 p.m. on May 25, 2021 near the intersection of Route 33 and Whitehorse-Mercerville Road. Detective Davis was in an unmarked police vehicle when he attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop. Mr. Abad did not stop, but continued traveling westbound on Route 33 and collided with a Dodge Caravan, whose driver was attempting to turn left into the Mercerville Shopping Center from Route 33 eastbound. Mr. Abad was thrown from the scooter and struck the windshield of the van. He was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he died at approximately 3 p.m. on May 27.
A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct 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. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved. The grand jury is instructed on the elements of the potential criminal offenses, including criminal homicide offenses, that could be brought and, as required by statutes, the grand jury is instructed on self-defense and other forms of legal justification.
A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation. Prior to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation was reviewed by OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.
At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA monitors any resulting review and takes such actions as are necessary to ensure that the review is completed in a timely fashion, and that appropriate actions are taken based on the results of the review.
The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at this link:
Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the directive is found at this link: