Corzine meets with Ramapough tribal leaders over park shooting

(04/19/06) MAHWAH ? Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) met with tribal leaders in Mahwah Wednesday about the shooting death of a Ramapough Lenape tribe member.Corzine promised a complete and fair investigation into the events that led to 43-year-old Emil Mann being shot by a Ringwood State Park officer in early April. The park officer claims it was self-defense. Mann, who was shot in the leg and chest, later died from his injuries. Mann and his relatives were apparently riding all-terrain vehicles in the park, which is illegal. Family members say an altercation between Mann?s relatives and the police officer preceded the shooting. Members of the Ramapough tribe want answers as to why Mann was shot.State officials did not answer many key questions from Mann's family at the meeting, such as was he given a warning. Authorities said they could not comment because of the ongoing investigation.

According to tribe members, the shooting has further inflamed tense relations between the Ramapough Indians and local authorities. No charges against the officer, Chad Walder, have been filed. The attorney general?s office and Bergen County prosecutor are still investigating the incident.

Related stories: Ringwood State Park cop shoots, critically injures man Police reveal name of officer involved in Ringwood Park shooting Man shot by ranger at Ringwood State Park dies

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