Large avatar richardb

Richard Bard Jr, 31
Vineland, New Jersey
April 17, 2016

Agencies: Vineland Police Department New Jersey | Cumberland County Sheriff's Office New Jersey | Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office New Jersey

Last updated: 5 months ago

Summary Help icon

Bard and another man allegedly robbed someone at gunpoint. Bard was killed in an exchange of gunfire with pursuing officers, authorities said.

Cumberland County has spent the last year and a half under scrutiny by civil rights advocates and state officials who have questioned police practices there.

In December 2014, Jerame Reid, a 36-year-old black man, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Bridgeton, spawning a half-dozen protests throughout the county. A grand jury investigation in August cleared the officers, finding that they believed they were in imminent danger at the time.

Vineland police officers faced their own investigation in April 2015 when Philip White, 32, died while in police custody. Citing witnesses, White's family and a civil rights activist alleged that the officers punched and beat White before he was placed in an ambulance with respiratory distress. They claimed a bystander's cellphone video showed a police dog biting White as he lay on the ground.

The hacking group Anonymous released the names, addresses and phone numbers of two of the officers involved in the shooting.

Eight months later, in December, a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union found that black people were 6.2 times more likely to be arrested in Millville, Cumberland County, than white people. The ACLU suggested stronger oversight of police agencies and a reduced focus on pursuing low-level crimes such as minor drug offenses.