Phillip White (131390)

This week, an unarmed Black man was killed while in police custody in New Jersey, according to reports.

Phillip White was reportedly arrested at his home in Vineland late Tuesday morning and died while he was in custody.

One witness said officers punched, kicked and stomped White while he was restrained and left him unconscious. He was also bitten by a police dog on his face and body.

Police have not released information on why White was arrested. The incident is being investigated by the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office.

“Why? What he was doing, I don’t know,” White’s aunt, Valerie White, said in a television interview. “I’m trying to get answers and closure now. He lived a street life, but he was a human being.”

Penns Grove, N.J., civil rights activist Walter L. Hudson Sr., chair of the National Awareness Alliance civil rights organization out of Penns Grove, met with White’s family. Hudson said in statement that the organization is helping the family.

“My contention still remains the same, as in the case of Jerame Reid, who was killed by the Bridgeton, New Jersey Police Department, that we want the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office to relinquish the investigation of Phillip White to the state attorney general of New Jersey,” he said. “We will continue to make this summons for a fair and impartial investigation, because of ‘no faith’ and other improprieties in Prosecutor Webb-McRae’s office.”

Vineland Police Chief Timothy P. Codispoti said, “Sadly, this call for service resulted in an ‘in-custody, non-shooting death,’ which is being investigated by the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and with the officers involved. I ask that everyone allow time for our justice system to now investigate this matter to its truthful conclusion.”