UPDATE: AG’s Office Releases Identities of Decedent and Long Branch Police Officer Along with Audio and Video Related to Fatal Crash on August 14, 2023

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2023

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 — The Attorney General’s Office today released audio recordings of 911 calls and police radio communications, as well as dashboard and body-worn camera footage related to a fatal vehicle collision on August 14, 2023, in Long Branch, New Jersey. The civilian who died during the encounter was identified today as Tracee Blount, 38, of Long Branch.

The deadly crash is 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 to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators previously met with representatives of Ms. Blount’s family to review the recordings.

According to the preliminary investigation, officers from the Long Branch Police Department were dispatched in response to a 911 call on August 14 at 3:59 a.m., with the caller reporting a break-in at a residence involving an armed person. As officers were responding in marked police vehicles, one of the law enforcement vehicles, driven by Long Branch Patrolman Lucas Brito, was involved in a collision with a vehicle believed to be operated by a suspect from the reported incident. During the crash, which occurred in the area of MacArthur and Elmwood Avenues in Long Branch, Ms. Blount, who was a passenger in the civilian vehicle, was seriously injured. She was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, where she was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:12 a.m. The driver, later identified as Mr. Altonia Williams, 45, of Long Branch, was taken into custody and transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment. Patrolman Brito was also taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment of injuries from the crash and later released.

Mr. Williams has been charged by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office with eluding (2nd degree), unlawful possession of a handgun (2nd degree), certain persons not to possess firearms (2nd degree), hindering apprehension or investigation (3rd degree), armed burglary (2nd degree), possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose (2nd degree), possession of a large capacity ammunition magazine (4th degree), and unlawful pointing of a firearm (4th degree).  The criminal investigation into these charges is still ongoing and being conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

The recordings are available here: https://njoag.box.com/s/31u5py2lqu52d8ccpty7w2sdkxtlxfr3

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 state grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.

OPIA’s investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at https://www.njoag.gov/independent-prosecutor


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