West New York, NJ

State Grand Jury Clears West New York Officer in 2022 Fatal Shooting

Morristown Minute
State Grand Jury Declines to Criminally Charge Officer Involved in Fatal Shooting in West New York on June 3, 2022.Photo byMorristown Minute

No Criminal Charges Filed Against Police Officer Involved in the Death of Kevin Colindres, Citing Insufficient Evidence for Indictment

West New York, NJ— A state grand jury has concluded its investigation into the fatal shooting of Kevin Colindres, 32, of West New York, and has voted against filing any criminal charges against the involved officer. The incident took place on June 3, 2022, and was the subject of an extensive review by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).

Investigation Details

The investigation included interviews with witnesses, analysis of photographs, body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results. After a comprehensive review of the evidence, the state grand jury reached a "no bill" decision on Monday, September 11, 2023, meaning no criminal charges will be filed against the involved officer.

Incident Summary

Officers of the West New York Police Department responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute at a residence on 59th Street at approximately 6:30 p.m. During the initial encounter, Mr. Colindres fired a weapon at the officers. One officer returned fire, sustaining a non-fatal injury in the process. Officers took cover and maintained the scene. About 15 minutes later, Mr. Colindres emerged armed with two firearms and was fatally shot by an officer. He was pronounced deceased at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen at 7:13 p.m.

Legal Procedures Followed

The Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019 guided the investigation, which was presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury. The investigation met standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid out by OPIA in July 2021 to ensure neutrality and transparency. A 2019 law mandates that the Attorney General’s Office investigates deaths occurring during encounters with law enforcement and presents the findings to a grand jury.

Administrative Review

Following the conclusion of these investigations, OPIA will determine if any principal should be referred for administrative review as per the Attorney General's Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA will monitor any such review to ensure it is completed timely and appropriate actions are taken based on the results.

Additional Information

The Independent Prosecutor Directive and further information about the investigative process in New Jersey can be found on the Attorney General’s website.

This development may spark discussions within the community about the use of lethal force by law enforcement and the systems in place for accountability.

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