State Grand Jury Declines to Criminally Charge Officers Involved in Newark Foot Chase and Arrest After Which Man Suffered a Medical Episode and Died

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Dan Prochilo

TRENTON — A state grand jury has voted to not file criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Raul L. DeJesus, 43, of Newark, New Jersey. On January 5, 2023, after fleeing on foot after being approached by a Newark police officer in a homicide investigation, Mr. DeJesus was arrested and then suffered a medical episode. The incident was captured on video previously released by this Office. Mr. DeJesus later died in the hospital.

The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) investigated Mr. DeJesus’s death and presented the results 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 surveillance and body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on January 22, 2024 and voted not to file criminal charges against Officers Alberto Vera and Nicholas Miller of the Newark Police Department.

According to the investigation, on January 5, 2023, at 3:42 p.m., Officer Vera observed Mr. DeJesus exiting a vehicle that was sought in connection with the investigation of a homicide that occurred in the City of Paterson on December 10, 2022. Officer Vera approached Mr. DeJesus in the area of Orange Street and South 11th Street in Newark and attempted to detain and question him.

Mr. DeJesus fled on foot through various residential yards, with Officer Vera in pursuit. After running for approximately four blocks, Mr. DeJesus was located on an embankment along Route 280 westbound, leaning against the side of an overpass in the area of mile marker 12.8. Officers Miller and Vera arrested Mr. DeJesus. Consistent with the Attorney General’s Use of Force Policy, officers on scene ensured Mr. DeJesus was in an upright, seated position after taking him into custody, to reduce the risk of positional asphyxiation.

Officers then contacted EMS and rendered aid after observing Mr. DeJesus was lethargic and having difficulty breathing. Mr. DeJesus was treated on scene by EMS and later transported to University Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 4:41 p.m. After conducting an autopsy, the State Medical Examiner concluded that Mr. DeJesus’ death was caused by coronary artery disease with acute methamphetamine toxicity.

Footage from body worn cameras and surveillance cameras related to the foot pursuit and Mr. DeJesus’s death were previously released. Those recordings are posted online: Click here to view the recordings.

N.J.S.A. 52:17B-107 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 appropriate action 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 and is available here: Independent Prosecutor Directive

OPIA’s standard operating procedures for grand jury presentations of investigations involving fatal police encounters are also posted on the Attorney General’s website, and are available here: OPIA Grand Jury SOPs


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