Police & Fire

Clark Police Use of Deadly Force Justified in Machete Incident, Jury Finds

Emmanuel Goda was shot by an off-duty Clark Police officer on the evening of Sept. 20. A grand jury found the officer was justified in use of deadly force. Credits: Credits: Essex County Jail courtesy of RLS Media

CLARK, NJ –  A Union County Grand Jury found the use of deadly force by a Clark Police officer  against a man wielding a machete-type knife in a Sept. 20, 2016 incident to be legally justified, citing the legal principles of defense of self and others.

The officer, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, had issued six verbal warnings to Emmanuel Goda, 36, to drop the knife he was holding, authorities said. The officer fired one shot into Goda’s abdomen from a distance of five to ten feet, subduing Goda, who then dropped the knife, they said.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office described the events leading up to the shooting.

Sign Up for E-News

In the early evening of Sept. 20, Goda first brandished his knife at a woman who was walking her dog along Cellar Avenue, the statement said.  Nearby residents who heard the woman’s screams ran to the woman’s aid. Goda then turned away from the woman and chased the other residents, wielding his knife and making threatening statements.  According to the statement, no one was injured and Goda left the area on foot, heading south on Lake Avenue.

Multiple calls about the incident were made by concerned citizens to the Clark Police Department beginning at 7:13 p.m., the statement said.  The off-duty officer, driving an unmarked police car, was near Cellar Avenue at the time and responded to the calls, the report said. An eyewitness described Goda to the officer. The officer then saw a man who fit the descriptions provided by both the callers and the witness crossing Lake Avenue at the Cellar Avenue intersection, the report said.

According to the report, the officer pursued the suspect on foot.  A uniformed, on-duty Clark Police officer arrived shortly thereafter, the report said. The uniformed officer pulled his car close to Goda, who approached the driver’s side of the patrol car, the report said.

Goda then lunged at the uniformed officer, reaching his arm into the car and slashing “toward the officer’s face with the knife,” the report said. The uniformed officer reversed his car to get away from Goda and avoid injury.  The off-duty officer watched this occur, the report said.

Goda, still holding the knife, then turned toward the off-duty officer, the report said.  It was then the officer repeatedly commanded Goda to drop the knife.  The uniformed officer, who had by then gotten out of his car, also ordered Goda to drop the knife, the report said.  Goda ignored both officers’ commands and continued to walk toward the off-duty officer, the report said.

It was then that the off-duty officer fired his weapon, the report said. Goda’s injuries were not fatal and he was removed to the hospital, according to the report.

The report said that most of the interchange between the officers and Goda was captured on videotape and that the officer’s commands to drop the weapon could be clearly heard before the shot was fired.

The Grand Jury conducted a lengthy review of evidence, including statements from the officers, statements from Cellar Avenue residents and the video evidence, the report said. The jury, finding the evidence credible and the officer’s use of force justified, returned a no-bill of indictment, the report said.  


TAPintoClark.net  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper.  Sign up for our daily enews  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter  @TAPintoClark. Reach our local readers, advertise your business here, email clark@tapinto.net.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance


Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality


Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

“Family Fun & Flix” in Warinanco Park Tuesday, July 24 Featuring “Peter Rabbit"

July 20, 2018

Family Fun & Flix, a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, continues on Tuesday, July 24 with the presentation of “Peter Rabbit” at Warinanco Park, on the border of Elizabeth and Roselle. 

As part of the evening’s events, UC Get Fit, a health initiative ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

"Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County

Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption

from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and

running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.




Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more