Two days before George Floyd’s death was captured on video and went viral around the world, Maurice Gordon, a Black Poughkeepsie, New York, resident, was shot and killed on the side of the Garden State Parkway during what is reported to be a routine traffic stop.
According to NJ.com, Gordon was pulled over for speeding by an unidentified state trooper on the morning of May 23. When the officer asked the 28-year-old to move his car to another spot on the roadway, Gordon’s car would not restart. The trooper reportedly called a tow company for Gordon, and as they waited, the trooper invited the native of Jamaica to wait inside his police car. Gordon was patted down to ensure he was not carrying a weapon but was not placed under arrest.
Once inside the car, NJ.com reports that Gordon unbuckled his seatbelt twice and was asked by the trooper to remain buckled. The third time, after waiting inside the police car for 30 minutes with no update or information on why he was being held, the chemistry major at Dutchess Community College in New York attempted to exit the vehicle. An altercation ensued with the officer roughing up Gordon and fatally shooting him.
William O. Wagstaff III, the Gordon family attorney, told the Wall Street Journal that he could hear Gordon screaming in the snippet of the video that was released to him. As Gordon lay bloodied on the ground, the trooper picked his body up, dropped it back down and handcuffed him. Wagstaff does not know if he died at the scene, in the ambulance or at the hospital.
Gordon’s mother, Racquel Barrett, flew to New York from London last week to seek out information on the murder of her son. Right now authorities are being tight-lipped and NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said they are withholding details and the full video of the fatal traffic stop until witness interviews are complete.
Gordon’s family is remembering him as the young man who enjoyed singing in the choir, who was a stellar student, and who was very close to his family. He was also an older brother who often called his sister just to say “I love you.”
At 19, Gordon moved from Spanish Town, Jamaica, to pursue an education in the United States, according to NJ.com. In addition to studying chemistry, he was also a driver for UberEats.
Gordon’s family is currently staying in a Poughkeepsie hotel, hoping to get answers about why and how their loved one, Maurice Gordon, ended up becoming yet another victim of police brutality.