Security, Body Camera Footage Shows Camden Officer Struck, Dragged Pedestrian with Police Vehicle in Fatal Crash

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The incident, which occurred June 9, remains under investigation by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

By Matt Skoufalos | July 8, 2021

Zandra Baez of Camden City lies in the roadway after having been struck by Camden Metro Ofcr Kevin Gilbert. Credit: NJ Pen.

Footage released by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG) offers greater detail into a fatal traffic incident in which a Camden Metro Police Officer struck and killed a pedestrian in Camden City June 9.

Sixty-six-year-old Zandra Baez of Camden was crossing Mount Ephraim Avenue at Woodlynne Avenue just before 11 p.m. that night, when Camden County Metro Police Officer Kevin Randolph Gilbert, Jr. hit her with a police SUV, authorities said.

Gilbert, Jr. was in uniform, on duty, and was not responding to any call for service at the time of the collision, the OAG said.

In response to an OPRA request filed by NJ Pen, the OAG today released footage from two security cameras across the street from the collision, as well as video from Gilbert, Jr.’s bodycam.

The video appears to show that after his car collided with Baez at the Woodlynne Avenue intersection, the officer continued driving for a few seconds, pushing the victim forward farther along the roadway an estimated 200-plus feet before exiting his vehicle across the street from an auto parts store.

Gilbert, Jr.’s bodycam footage appears to show a trail of blood beneath Baez’s body, as he radios central dispatch in terse, repetitive statements, requesting an “ambulance immediately.”

“Male hit. Bleeding from the head,” he said. “Male hit. Mount Ephraim, Atlantic. Male not breathing. Male unconscious. Hit by police—hit by myself. Male unconscious.”

Woodlynne Avenue to Advance Auto Parts in Camden City. Map data Copyright (C) 2021 Google.

In the video, the officer identified his location as “right in front of Pantry [1]. Food Market,” and then downgraded his assessment of the victim’s condition.

“He’s dead,” Gilbert, Jr. said. “100 percent.”

Despite digitally obscuring Baez’s body, the footage is graphic.

According to a statement from the OAG, “investigators discussed the matter with Ms. Baez’s relatives and provided copies of the videos to them for their review.”

“The fatal incident remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA),” the statement reads.

In New Jersey, the OAG investigates every death attributable to an encounter with law enforcement acting in official capacity, or while the decedent is in custody, according to a 10-step process.

Once that investigation is completed, the case will proceed to a grand jury to determine whether criminal charges will be filed.

This is a developing story. Stick with NJ Pen for updates.

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