Prosecutor’s Office Seeks To Block Records On GOP Councilwoman’s Murder From Going Public

The New Jersey prosecutor’s office investigating the murder of Republican Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour has requested an injunction to block news outlets from obtaining important information about the case.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office argued that releasing any information to the public about the councilwoman’s death would hinder law enforcement’s investigation, reported. The move came after several local and national media outlets requested that 911 calls, arrest reports, and police body cam and dash cam footage be made public.

“While the public and press have protectable constitutional interests to access pre-trial proceedings in criminal cases, access to disclosure is limited by the needs of the state to obtain just convictions and to preserve the confidentiality of sensitive information,” the prosecutor’s office said in its petition.

The prosecutor’s office reportedly invited media outlets to submit Open Public Record Act requests before attempting to block them. Some government transparency advocates called the prosecutors’ move “aggressive and unnecessary.”

“That sounds like prosecutors gone wild. It is extraordinarily rare for public agencies to affirmatively run to court in order to preemptively deny access to records,” Walter Leurs, an attorney who specializes in the public records law, told Gothamist. 

It’s been a week since Dwumfour, a newly married mother, was found dead in the driver’s seat of her white Nissan SUV after being shot as many as 14 times as she pulled up to her Sayreville, New Jersey, home. Since the deadly shooting, authorities have not made any arrests or revealed any information about a suspect or motive, causing frustration from the 30-year-old deceased councilwoman’s parents. 

“So far, we haven’t heard anything yet,” Eunice’s father Prince Dwumfour told the New York Post on Tuesday.

After she was shot, Dwumfour’s vehicle reportedly traveled around 100 feet before hitting two parked cars. Police later told the New York Post that the New Jersey politician was seen on video talking to the shooter moments before she was murdered. New surveillance video obtained by News 12 New Jersey appeared to show a man dressed in black running behind Dwumfour’s complex around the same time Dwumfour was killed.

Eyewitnesses say they saw the gunman run toward Garden State Parkway after firing multiple times into Dwumfour’s vehicle. Police later received a tip and searched for the murder weapon in the woods behind the complex where Dwumfour lived, but did not report any findings, according to ABC 7.

Dwumfour was elected to the Borough of Sayreville City Council in an upset victory over her Democratic opponent in 2021. She was also a business analyst and part-time EMT and was heavily involved in a Nigerian church group.

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