TOMS RIVER â€” A grand jury in Ocean County on Friday indicted a man in the shooting death of a Lakewood police officer in January.Jahmell Crockam is charged with shooting Officer Christopher Matlosz after the officer pulled his police cruiser alongside the 19-year-old.The grand jury indicted Crockam on charges of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and also unlawful possession of a weapon.The indictment alleges two aggravating factors that could result in Crockam being sentenced to life in prison without parole: that the murder was committed to avoid apprehension, and the victim was a public servant carrying out official duties at the time of his killing.Crockam is being held on $5 million bail. No trial date has been set. [Suspect indicted in Lakewood officer`s killing by Anonymous, Associated Press/Asbury Park Press, March 18, 2011.]
Crockam is reportedly a member of the racist, black Bloods gang, in a small town overrun by black and Hispanic gangs, and illegal Hispanic human beingsâ€”except that, officially, Lakewood has no gang or illegal alien problem.
Update, 3/23:You Gotta Represent
When police first sought Crockam for Officer Matloszâ€™ murder, the Bloodsâ€”of Lakewoodâ€™s non-existent gang problemâ€”announced that unless they backed off and let Crockam go about his business unmolested, they would start (read: continue) assassinating police at will
Although Crockamâ€”street name â€?Sav,â€?
short for â€?Savageâ€?
â€”was only 19, at his first court date on January 18, after being apprehended in Camden
, he was indifferent to the proceedings
, andâ€”shades of the Knoxville Horrorâ€™s Vanessa Coleman
â€”only concerned to let his family know that he loved them. (â€?Crockam was quiet throughout the proceedings â€” but appeared to be whispering â€?I love youâ€™ to some of his family in the courtroom.â€?
)â€?Small-Town Gang-Banger Makes Goodâ€?
Three days later, Crockam was charged in an earlier murder that police had tied him to while seeking him for Patrolman Matloszâ€™ murder.
Jahmell Crockam and a co-defendant, Darius Johnson, appeared in court Friday afternoon to face murder charges in the October 2010 shooting death of Justin Williams of Jackson Township. [Cop shooting suspect faces 2nd murder case by Anonymous, AP/ABC6/WPVI-TV Philadelphia, PA, January 21, 2011.]
If both charges stick, that would make Crockham a serial murderer at 19, a pretty ambitious record, even for this day and age. The New York Times
could headline his story, â€?Small-Town Gang-Banger Makes Good.â€?
Since New Jersey has no death penalty, Crockham can allegedly kill as many people, in and out of jail, as he wants, without ever facing justice.
About a generation ago, criminologists such as James Q. Wilson began using the term â€?super-predator,â€?
to refer to the predecessors of Jahmell Crockam. Today, we know better. Young black and Hispanic cut-throats and their fans have since taught us that the term â€?super-predatorâ€? is â€?racist to the core,â€?
, and has a â€?disparate impactâ€?
on the self-esteem of suspected and actual cut-throats from underrepresented minorities, whom they would prefer we instead referred to as â€?victimsâ€?
Using a term like â€?super-predatorâ€? is a classic case of â€?blaming the victim.â€?
1/21/11 10:28 AM EST
#3: Whatever...and let me guess the cop was a perfect angel? Why did he PROVOKE this guy to shot him???58 slj7336
1/22/11 8:53 AM EST
Matlosz was laid to rest Thursday after a funeral attended by 10,000 law enforcement officers. He was gunned down as he sat in his patrol car a week ago. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT..BOOO HOOOO
[Cop shooting suspect faces 2nd murder case by Anonymous, AP/ABC6/WPVI-TV Philadelphia, PA, January 21, 2011.]
Family: Crockham is an Innocent, Churchgoing, Fall Guy
Perhaps I am being unfair to Jahmell Crockam, and so I will cede the floor to his devoted family.
The family of Jahmell W. Crockam, who is accused of two murders, says he is a churchgoing 19-year-old who is not the soulless monster authorities and the media have portrayed."What happened to innocent until proven guilty?" asked Vernetha Shontell Crockam, Crockam`s 36-year-old motherâ€¦ "They`re just looking for someone to blame."â€¦"How can someone say this boy has no soul? He goes to church every Sunday," said Crockam`s aunt, Raquel Pressleyâ€¦."They`ve painted my son as a monster," Ms. Crockam said. "We`re raised in the church, and we`re still going."â€¦The Crockams attend Sunday services at the Intercessory Tabernacle Ministry church on Arlington Avenue. The church pastor, the Rev. Thomas E. Simpson, said he was shocked by the news that Crockam was charged with two murders this week."He was a nice kid. I never knew him to get into trouble at all. . . . This has knocked us all down."
Simpson has known the Crockam family for years. He was a congregant of the Church of God on E. 5th Street when the late Rev. Thomas Crockam â€” Jahmell`s great-great-grandfather â€” was the pastor there.Crockam is a 2009 graduate of Lakewood High School. He had applied to the adult program at Ocean County Vocational and Technical School, but was placed on a waiting list, his mother said. She couldn`t answer what he planned to study.He was also working, said Pressley, who would not say where or what type of jobâ€¦.Crockam`s family said they believe that the police case against Crockam is built on hearsay, rumors and speculation."The cops aren`t doing their job," said Pressley, Crockam`s aunt. "They shouldn`t be listening to the street."Hours after Matlosz was murdered, police circulated Crockam`s photo and description through social networking sites and text and photo messages.Crockam`s family believes the person who started that message chain is "out to get" Crockam. They pointed to injuries he may have received after he was arrested Sunday.Crockam has two black eyes and a gash on his head, according to Pressley and his mother.A review of photos and video from a Tuesday court hearing showed that Crockam appeared to have a discoloration under his left eye. The other injuries could not be confirmed.Crockam is being held at the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in lieu of more than $7 million cash bailâ€¦.
Crockam is not the first family member or associate of his aunt to have run-ins with the law.Pressley`s son, Razear "Shag" Shabea Muldrow, of Woodlake Manor Drive, Lakewood, was one of three men charged with Dec. 4, 2009, murder of Luis Enrique Garcia, 17. Garcia was shot in the head in a wooded area between New Hampshire Avenue and the Woodlake Manor Apartments.Muldrow, Rahim "Radio" Sharif Loyal, 28, of Newark and Jamil Parson, 27, believed homeless, were indicted on murder, conspiracy and witness tampering charges in August. They have pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.Pressley, who is Loyal`s godmother, told a reporter in earlier interviews that the charges against her son and godson are "bogus."Pressley`s brother, Rasul K. Allen, pleaded guilty in May 2006 to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Haneef Thomas, 24, a Burlington County man who was shot to death in September 2002 while sitting on the front porch of a house in the 300 block of Ocean Avenue in Lakewood. [NS: That used to be called first-degree murder.]Dennis Singleton, 24, who was sitting next to Thomas at the time, was also shot but recovered.
In 2005, Pressley and her husband, Calvin Pressley, now 39, were charged with murder in the 2002 case. Charges against the couple were later dropped. Raquel Pressley pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of obstruction, was sentenced to 217 days time served and placed on two years probation. [From murder to â€?obstruction.â€?]Pressley questioned some media`s portrayal of Crockam as a street gang member."Why does every black man have to be in a gang?" Pressley asked.Authorities have declined to comment if Crockam belonged to a street gang.[Family of Jahmell Crockam, accused of fatally shooting Officer Christopher Matlosz, say case built on hearsay, rumors by Matthew McGrath, Jean Mikle and Kathleen Hopkins, NJ Press Media, January 21, 2011.]