Camden Metro Officer Kevin R. Gilbert, Jr. will not face criminal charges in the death of 66-year-old Zandra Baez, whom he fatally struck with a police vehicle June 9, 2021.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 15, 2022
A Camden County Metro Officer who fatally struck a Camden City pedestrian with his police vehicle last summer will not face criminal charges as a result of the incident.
A state grand jury voted not to indict Camden County Metro Police Officer Kevin Randolph Gilbert, Jr. in the June 9, 2021 death of 66-year-old Zandra Baez of Camden City.
Baez was crossing Mount Ephraim Avenue at Woodlynne Avenue just before 11 p.m. that night, when Gilbert, Jr. hit her with a marked police SUV.
Gilbert, Jr. was in uniform, on duty, and was not responding to any call for service at the time of the collision, after which the officer continued driving for a few seconds, pushing the victim forward farther along the roadway an estimated 200-plus feet before stopping, according to body- and dashcam footage provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
The OAG determined that Gilbert, Jr. “was driving 36 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone with a steady green light in the direction he was traveling” at the time of the collision. He stopped and radioed for assistance at the scene; Baez was pronounced dead about 15 minutes after Gilbert, Jr. hit her.
“The investigation of this officer-involved fatality included interviews of witnesses, collection of forensic evidence, review of video footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner,” the OAG said in a press release Tuesday.
The case was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA), and presented to a grand jury in keeping with the state Independent Prosecutor Directive, which is designed to eliminate institutional bias from the investigation and deliberation of findings.
The OAG reported that “no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation.”
Neither was there any indication in its announcement of findings as to whether anyone involved with the case would face any administrative review as a result of the incident.
Baez was one of three New Jersey residents to have been killed by police vehicles within three months in 2021.
The others included 63-year-old Everett Stern of Atlantic City, whose bicycle collided with a police vehicle, and 55-year-old Julius Filep of East Brunswick, who was struck crossing a roadway on foot.
None of them was being sought by police at the time of their deaths.
Please support NJ Pen with a subscription. Get e-mails, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or try our Direct Dispatch text alerts.