Monday, December 16

NY cops shoot at unarmed deranged guy in crowd, hit two bystanders instead; DA says...

Three months ago a mentally-disturbed man wandered out in the street near the Times Square bus terminal in NY.  A crowd watched as he jumped in front of and on cars.

Shortly thereafter the cops arrived.  When the guy reached into his pocket the cops thought he was reaching for a gun and opened fire.  This being New York, they missed the guy but hit two women in the crowd of onlookers.  Finally, a cop tased the guy.

They initially arrested the guy on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest, but--astonishingly--later the DA persuaded a grand jury to charge the man with assault, with a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said the guy “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”

“The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said assistant DA Shannon Lucey.

A lawyer for one of the women shot by the cops disagreed, saying the DA should instead have charged the two officers who fired their weapons into a crowd.

I'm not reflexively anti-cop, but how the hell do you countenance shooting someone just for reaching into their pocket?  Hell, in the shit-hole that is Afghanistan the U.S. military isn't allowed to shoot unless they've actually been fired on.  If that rule is good enough for troops in a fucking combat zone it should be the rule here too.

But my real anger here is directed at the DA:  A guy with a damn law degree who should know what he did there was utter crap--a gimmick to possibly reduce the payout to the two women the cops shot by mistake. 

As Steyn says, if this stands no cop can be held responsible for any act.


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