New York Police Respond To Unarmed Disoriented Man in Traffic By Shooting Two Innocent Women . . . Prosecutors Charge Man With The Police Shootings

copshoot-1-1On September 14, Glenn Broadnax, 35, allegedly jumped in front of cars in New York’s Time Square. He was reportedly disoriented and, according to his counsel, was communicating with dead relatives in his mind. However, two police officials feared that the unarmed Broadnax was reaching for a weapon. They responded with a barrage of gunfire that cut down two bystanders. Now, prosecutors have charged Broadnax with assault for the shootings by the police officers on the theory that “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”

The New York police have been previously criticized for the use of lethal force in crowded areas including the prior case where nine innocent people were shoot by New York police. It is a pattern that puts into sharp relief a country like Iceland where officers this week killed the first person in the country’s history in a police raid and only after he wounded two officers.

In this case, the officer fired when Broadnax put his hands in his pocket. Many question that response and the danger created to bystanders. However, police blame Broadnax for their actions. Thus, not only are police not liable or disciplined for the use of force, but they can charge the suspect with their alleged excessive response.

Broadnax was never hit. Instead, the officers hit two women standing nearby. He was brought down with a taser.

Notably, Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. However, because the police responded to an unarmed man with lethal force, he is facing a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years as part of a nine-count indictment.

Counsel for one of the victims Sahar Khoshakhlagh has gone public to denounce the charge and say that it is the officers who should be criminally charged and that this is an abuse of prosecutorial discretion [in] prosecuting a man who didn’t even injure my client . . . It’s the police who injured my client.”

The video below shows how crowded the area was when officers fired their shots. The charges in my view are excessive in these circumstances and raise serious implications in future cases of abusive conduct. It is true that criminal law has allowed for defendants to bear the consequences of their crimes where they lead to injuries or deaths, particularly in felony murder cases where you do not have to actually pull the trigger to be held for the fatalities. However, this was an unarmed man with police acting in a way that was highly questionable. Rather than recognize the disconnect between the man conduct and the police response, prosecutors appear to want to establish that it was his fault and not the police for the shootings.

What do you think?

Source: New York Times

49 thoughts on “New York Police Respond To Unarmed Disoriented Man in Traffic By Shooting Two Innocent Women . . . Prosecutors Charge Man With The Police Shootings”

  1. pete,

    Possibly. Hopefully Bob, Esq. or some other attorney more familiar with NYS law can chime in on that subject.

  2. GBloggers,

    Have you read luckylarry’s most recent post? (@ 4:04 on the Monkey post) Free speech and all that, but now he is writing sex scenes. Please get this guy outta here.

  3. Are there no professionals left on the police force? These guys should be executed, and their estates turned over to the victim’s families.

  4. i’ll let the attorneys here tell me how wrong i am about this, but couldn’t any disciplinary action to the officers at this point be seen as an assumption of liability?

  5. Sadly I think we are moving to a point in our society where the general populace will start shooting first too. You will run out of cops before you run out of bullets.

  6. The police are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t so lets restrict the police to only showing up after the fact to take a report. and writing parking tickets. After all the police never stopped a murder. and just think no more police shootings. then it would be a wonderful world wouldn’t ya think

    1. bruce and brit, There is no being damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The FACT is that the guy WAS tazed which is how they got him. The poor shooting and missing their target is truly horrific and says at the very least these cops should NOT be allowed to have weapons. Not only was there no legitimate reason for using deadly force, but when they used it, they shot the wrong people! That is simply unforgivable and they should be disciplined for that crime alone.

      I agree with most of what Brittius posted in his analysis of possible actions the police could have done. I disagree with his pass on making a judgement since most of the facts are reasonably clear and uncontested. I can understand his position since it is a rush to judgment without hearing their side first, but one can make a preliminary judgment with the caution that this is a first judgment, and not a final word.

      In fact, I came to the defense of Ramos and Compean who were sent to prison for a far less troubling shooting. They were fully justified in using their weapons in that case and were railroaded to prison as I later found out. This is in no way similar to that case since it was a reckless shooting that was not justified at all. Ramos and Compean shot at an armed fleeing drug smuggler who had assaulted Compean and who got away with no indication that he had been hit. They went to prison for that “crime” and these cops deserve no less for a real crime.

  7. The police shot first and pointed fingers later! Maybe the new mayor and the new police commissioner will do the right thing here. Then again, maybe not!

  8. Give NYC prosecutors a little more time and they might identify a way to charge the two women who were shot with unauthorized receipt and possession of official city property (bullets), or for failure to get out of the way of the officer discharged weapons and thus causing their own injuries.

    If Mr. Broadnax can be prosecuted, certainly the two women shot are guilty of something, or somehow also responsible for the outcome.

    Everybody is guilty except the trigger-pullers.

  9. I find it surprising that the prosecutor did not charge each of the two wounded ladies for illegally interfering with the lawful trajectory of an errant bullet.

  10. Speaking of imperial blowback and police who act towards the American citizenry like the U.S. military invading and occupying foreign countries who never harmed the United States:

    Thanks for Nothing

    Benevolent invader of my land
    How can I thank you for the helping hand?
    Why, had you not come here with awe and shock,
    Reducing my poor home to piles of rock,
    I might have raised my children safe and sound,
    But, thanks to you, I’ve laid them in the ground.

    A wife I had, once too, but now no more.
    She died one day while driving to the store.
    Some nervous mercenaries that you hired
    Screamed something at her once, then aimed and fired.
    The bullet-riddled windshield told the tale:
    That “freed” of life, our women need no veil.

    Your generals have come so many times,
    Yet never have to answer for their crimes.
    Instead, promotion weighs them down with stars
    But never, like enlisted men, the scars
    Resulting from the bungling and sheer waste
    Of thinking last but shooting first in haste.

    On nine-eleven, two-thousand-and-one
    You got a taste of what you’ve often done
    To countries that had never caused you harm
    Yet still, too late, you sounded the alarm
    And whipped yourself into a lather thick
    So you could hurt yourself with your own stick.

    Three thousand on that fateful day you lost.
    Six thousand more you’ve added to the cost
    Since then, which only proves that there or here
    You act the same: in folly, rage, and fear.
    In time, you’ll go back home to where you’re from,
    To fight among yourselves, the deaf and dumb.

    Too bad for all the carnage that you’ve caused
    Who never thought or for a minute paused
    Before afflicting us with your disease:
    A plague of bankrupt bullies, fascist fleas,
    Who, both hands outward stretched to beg a loan,
    Continue “helping” us to shrink and groan.

    You talk to pat yourselves upon the back.
    Your actions only scream of what you lack:
    The insight and intelligence to see
    How much you’ve harmed yourself as well as me.
    But just the same I’ll thank you to go home
    Before you earn the fate that toppled Rome.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2009

  11. In addition to their trigger-happy paranoia, the poor marksmanship of the police officers indicates that they got their weapons training at the Dick Cheney quail hunting school for shooting lawyers — or by the U.S. military in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Additionally, it appears that the police have negotiated a secret SOFA agreement with the U.S. government placing them and their homicidal actions beyond the reach of the indigenous legal system. Imperial blowback. No doubt about it.

  12. Unfortunately, excuses such as “I feared for my life” and “I thought he had a gun” have become acceptable defenses for OIS. Our “Justice” system seems unconcerned that an increasing number of UNARMED citizens are being murdered by our very own “peace officers”.

  13. Best defense is a good offense.(Makes me reconsider my wanting to move back to NYC)(

  14. For the average citizen going about their lives in a normal manner, the most potentially dangerous force out there is the police force. And there is nothing you can do to protect yourself.

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