This past weekend, the People’s Organization for Progress organized a march and rally demanding answers in the death of Kashad Ashford, a 23-year-old Newark man killed by police in September. Family, friends and supporters of Ashford gathered at the Lincoln Monument in downtown Newark, N.J., and insisted authorities release police audio, videotapes and arrest reports.
Family members say despite numerous letters, phone calls and official requests to the agencies, they have not received specific information about what happened the day of the shooting. “No one has told me anything—I don’t even know who killed my son, which officer or which township,” said Kashad Ashford’s mother, Regina. “I’m just trying to get an answer. I just want closure.”
Authorities say Kashad Ashford was shot after an alert on their stolen Nissan Armada led to a car chase through Lyndhurst, N.J. Ashford and Jemmaine T. Bynes, 30, of East Orange tried to steal a car at Newell Place before the chase. Two officers from Lyndhurst and a state trooper were involved in the shooting that killed Ashford. Ashford died at Hackensack University Medical Center hours after the shooting.
“There seems to be some dispute about the events that led to the cops opening fire,” Lawrence Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress told the AmNews. “Our position is that he didn’t have to die. We feel that because this was a young Black man, that essentially increased his chances of being killed.”
Hamm said that the organization will focus on the Bergen County prosecutor’s office, where the case is being transferred, for answers. The AmNews contacted the Lyndhurst Police Department, which referred all questions about the shooting to Attorney General John Hoffman. Hoffman was not available for comment. Bynes was charged with several weapons offenses related to a loaded handgun found in the vehicle.