ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — The New Jersey police officer accused of a road rage murder in Anne Arundel County has posted bail as his lawyer levels scandalous new racially-charged accusations against the victim.
Derek Valcourt explains it comes as friends and family of the Maryland man plan to honor him Wednesday night.
Friends of the victim have built a small memorial and they’re planning a candelight vigil at 8 p.m. at the scene of what police say was an apparent road rage killing.
“Disbelief,” said Jeanine Jones.
The pain is still too fresh for friends of 36-year-old Joseph Harvey, Jr., killed Saturday night. Police say he was shot by 40-year-old Joseph Walker, an insurance fraud police detective from New Jersey.
Police say Walker was driving his wife and three small children in their white minivan north on Route 3 in Anne Arundel County when they encountered Harvey and his passenger in a green Honda Accord. One car apparently cut off the other and police say the incident escalated into road rage. The two cars pulled over on the side of the road.
Police say Walker shot Harvey as Harvey approached his family’s minivan.
“I still can’t believe that this has happened to such a good man. He was such a good person,” Jones said.
A lawyer for Walker could not be reached by phone but told the Washington Post Harvey repeatedly yelled racial slurs and “was enraged, screaming at the Walker family in their van.”
But Harvey’s friends say they just don’t buy it.
“We all know Joe and we know we would not do something like that,” Jones said. “Just because you’re a police doesn’t give you a right to pull a gun out and shoot somebody because you’re fussing.
For now, Harvey’s loved ones are left honoring the man they say gave so much to so many.
Friends say they’ll also be collecting donations at the vigil as they try to pay for the funeral expenses.
Walker posted bail but faces charges of second degree murder and manslaughter.