Trial date set for N.J. troopers

(TRENTON, N.J.) -- Two state troopers charged with shooting and wounding three young minority men during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike are now scheduled to go on trial Sept. 4.

Prosecutors allege that John Hogan and James Kenna were not justified in firing into a van they had pulled over. The troopers say that the driver, who escaped injury in the shooting, went into reverse and they feared he was trying to hit them.

At a hearing Thursday, defense lawyers asked that the trial be moved to southern or western New Jersey because of massive publicity in areas along the state's central corridor. They are also seeking to have the prosecutor removed from the case.

The wounded men and the driver were traveling from New York to a basketball clinic in North Carolina when they were pulled over in April 1999. The shooting inflamed claims that state police engaged in racial profiling.

A state appeals court reinstated the charges against Hogan and Kenna after a judge dismissed them. The troopers have also been charged in a separate indictment with filing misleading reports on their traffic stops.

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