Family: Cop getting special treatment in hit-and-run case
The family of a Paterson man allegedly struck and killed by an off-duty police officer says they believe the officer is getting special treatment.
On June 16, JaQuill "Jake" Fields was walking on Temple Street in Paterson with his brother Ameem when they were struck by a Mercedes allegedly driven by Paterson Police Officer Jose Urena. Witnesses say Officer Urena never stopped and fled the scene.
Fields died several hours later at the hospital. Paterson police found Officer Urena at his home a short time later and arrested him. He is now suspended without pay while he awaits trial.
The family is upset that Officer Urena has only been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and not vehicular homicide. They also question a bail set at $50,000
Officer Urena was once lauded for saving three babies from a fire. However, Fields' aunt says the officer is no hero.
"Heroes don't leave the scene of an accident. Heroes don't try to cover up the mistake that [he] did," says Candy Clyburn, Fields' aunt. "[He] saved some people. Who's to say [he] could not have saved my nephew?"
The family will hold a vigil march to demand more be done. "We want justice and [Officer Urena] should be given a penalty as if he was one of us," says Clyburn.
News 12 New Jersey is awaiting more information from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office about the case.