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Newark officer on trial for deadly shooting: ‘I had to get home to my kids.’

Officer Jovanny Crespo is on trial for killing Gregory Griffin during a high-speed chase in 2019.

Matt Trapani and Chris Keating

Jun 1, 2023, 9:10 PM

Updated 384 days ago

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A Newark police officer on trial for a deadly shooting had the chance to take the stand to tell his side of the story.
Officer Jovanny Crespo is on trial for killing Gregory Griffin during a high-speed chase in 2019.
As Crespo took the stand, his defense attorney showed him dashboard camera video from his patrol car. The attorney asked why Crespo fired on the two men in a Chrysler speeding away from him.
Crespo responded that he could see through the tinted windows of the car and saw that the passenger, Andrew Dixon, had a gun pointed in his direction.
“What was going through your mind when he pointed the gun at you?” Crespo’s attorney asked. He responded, “He was going to kill me.”
Crespo stated that he wanted to get home to his children.
The defense argued that Crespo acted in self-defense in January 2019 when he got out of his patrol car three times to fire on that car and two men inside. On a third and final stop, he would fire into the car and shoot both men. Griffin did not survive.
The prosecution has argued that by law, Crespo was not justified to fire and that he was acting recklessly. At one point, the prosecution referred to a test Crespo took at the academy in which he answered questions on use of force incorrectly.


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