police car

As reported by the Brick Patch online, the shooting of a 21-year-old Brick Township man in August 2015 during a confrontation with police has been ruled a justifiable use of deadly force, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announced Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Coronato said the investigation into the Aug. 23 shooting that killed Julian Hoffman was justified by “the undisputed facts of this case.”

“Although there is a presumption of grand jury review when the use of force results in death, the directive (from the state Attorney General’s Office) provides that the county prosecutor is not required to present the matter to the grand jury where the undisputed facts indicate that the use of force was justifiable under the law,” the statement from Coronato’s office said. “Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has determined that the undisputed facts of this case indicate that the use of deadly force was justifiable under the law, and that presentation of the matter to the grand jury is not required.”

The statement released by the prosecutor’s office says the state Attorney General’s office agreed with Coronato’s findings.

Coronato’s statement says Hoffman had what appeared to be a gun in his hand when he answered the door after calling 911 to report he was “raising hell.” The handgun was a BB gun, which Hoffman refused to drop, according to the statement.

The two Brick officers who fired on Hoffman each shot four bullets, with three total striking Hoffman, the statement said.

And despite a concerted effort to retrieve video from a home security system belonging to Hoffman’s father, none was able to retrieved because it had been overwritten, the statement said.

The statement from the prosecutor’s office concluded the following:

“After analyzing all of the facts and circumstances of this incident within the context of the use-of-force policy promulgated by the New Jersey Attorney General, it is the conclusion of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office that Officers 1 and 2 used an acceptable level of force in unholstering, pointing and firing their weapons at Hoffman.

The facts and circumstances reasonably led Officers 1 and 2 to believe that their actions in discharging their firearms were immediately necessary to protect their own lives as well as the lives of the other officers present.

The entire matter has been reviewed by Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and all portions of the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive regarding uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police use-of-force investigations that were in effect during the course of the investigation were complied with.”

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Photo of Michael DeRose Michael DeRose

Michael P. DeRose is a shareholder at the firm and primarily focuses his practice in labor/ employment law and other aspects of civil litigation, such as contract disputes. He has litigated and tried hundreds of matters before the Superior Court of New Jersey…

Michael P. DeRose is a shareholder at the firm and primarily focuses his practice in labor/ employment law and other aspects of civil litigation, such as contract disputes. He has litigated and tried hundreds of matters before the Superior Court of New Jersey, the Office of Administrative Law and the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission on behalf of various labor unions and their members. Michael has extensive experience defending and fighting for members of law enforcement and other public employees facing adverse disciplinary action, such as termination or suspension from employment. He also frequently argues before New Jersey’s Appellate Division on behalf of his clients.

A large portion of his practice is also devoted to contract negotiations on behalf of union clients, representing such clients in grievance arbitration/ contract disputes, and otherwise advising union leaders on labor and employment matters.  Michael also has significant experience in the realm of interest arbitration on behalf of the firm’s law enforcement and firefighter unions. As a result of the firm’s robust labor and employment practice, Michael regularly appears before various state agencies, such as the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, the State Health Benefits Commission, and NJ PERC. In addition to representing labor unions and active employees, Michael also represents retirees before the Division of Pensions in disability retirement applications, both ordinary and accidental disability retirement, in pension forfeiture actions, and in other miscellaneous pension disputes. He also counsels private business and their principals in contract and employment law, in addition to representing their interests in civil litigation. Michael has a track record of obtaining favorable outcomes for his clients and treats each everyone of them on an individual and particularized basis in accordance with their needs.

Before joining the firm in August of 2015, Michael was an associate counsel at a civil litigation firm out in Trenton, New Jersey, where he principally focused his practice around employment law and tort claims litigation. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey for the Honorable F. Patrick McManimon, Mercer County Vicinage, from September of 2012 to August of 2013, where he attained significant experience in the realm of alternative dispute resolution having mediated well-over one-hundred cases, primarily related to commercial and residential landlord/ tenant disputes and contract/ business litigation. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 2012 after graduating from the Western Michigan University-Thomas M. Cooley School of Law. In 2007, he earned his Bachelor of the Arts in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Kean University where he was a member of the Kean University baseball team and vice president of the Alpha Phi Sigma chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Michael is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar, the United States Federal Court for the District of New Jersey, and is a member of the Mercer County Bar Association.