Paterson is a rough town. The Passaic County city is New Jersey's third largest. At 3 o'clock in the morning one night last June, Officer Jerry Moravek, along with other police, was called to respond to a noise complaint and a large group of people hanging out in the street.

In a body cam video, you can see just as one gun was apparently being found at the scene shots rang out nearby from another gun. Moravek runs in the direction of the gunfire and within seconds he sees a man running away and would later say he believed he saw a gun in his hand.

That belief seems to be backed by what happened next. Moravek pursued his suspect in a foot chase yelling multiple times to "Drop the gun!" It's very hard to see exactly what happens on the body cam video during the foot chase because the camera is jerking so violently, but Moravek would later say he believed he saw the man, Khalif Cooper, 28, begin the motion to turn and thinking he was about to be fired upon Moravek said he fired his weapon. Two shots.

He gets handcuffs on the wounded man and asks why he ran. Cooper told Moravek because he was scared but "I don’t got no gun though."

It turns out he really didn't. According to State Attorney General Matt Platkin, who announced criminal charges of aggravated assault on the officer that could land Moravek in prison for more than 10 years, no gun was on Cooper or anywhere within reach.

So why would I say this officer doesn't deserve prison time? Especially when bullet shrapnel in Khalif Cooper is so far at least preventing him from walking? Because while tragic, this was a mistake.

This officer was responding to a call where a dangerous situation erupted. It turns out guns were present and Cooper was running after shots were fired. This cop with more than 10 years on the Paterson force had never discharged his service weapon before, according to the police force report by

In fact, for the period covered in the report, Moravek used less force than the average Paterson police officer in almost all categories. In that report, he had injured no one. Was Moravek just lucky? Or was he a good cop who had always practiced a higher level of restraint?

The night of the shooting he fired twice. He kept himself from continuing to fire even though he seemed to believe there was a gun that could have been still in Cooper's hand. Within seconds of securing Khalid Cooper he's heard calling for an ambulance. What's key here is that body cam video.

If it can be slowed down, if it can be enhanced clearer, will it show a cold-blooded act on the cop’s part? Or will it show Cooper start looking over his shoulder and his arm coming up? When I'm watching it I feel like I'm seeing that but it's so jerky I just can't be sure, to be perfectly honest.

I feel the totality of events that night last June have to be looked at in context of the totality of this officer's career. More will come out about that. And if it's consistent with his restraint shown in that force report I feel it would be a travesty for Moravek to be sent to prison.

But the tragedy still exists. An unarmed man was shot. He can't walk. Yes, something needs to be done. Moravek needs to never work in law enforcement again. He needs to lose all benefits. He needs to be put on probation.

Citizens also need to do some things. They need to stop running from police. They need to stop claiming the only reason was fear as real as that fear may be. It only deepens the chasm and reinforces this notion all officers are bad.

It takes two to tango. And this dance last June was one in which both will be forever scarred in different ways.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)

New Jersey's Most Terrifying Serial Killers

New Jersey Nightmares - Notorious Serial Killers

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born

Here's a look at the headlines that captured the moment, spread the word, and helped shape public opinion over the last 100 years.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM