So the "undercover" police in New York City have yet again shot up a black man (men). I've been waiting to post on this because I wanted to see what information would come out about this shooting and indeed I am glad I waited. Unlike the Diallo shooting of 1999, the cops in this case ought to be tried for not only for murder but for reckless endangerment.
Let us for a minute leave out the men in the automobile. NY rules in regards to shooting at a vehicle is as follows:
officers can fire only when they or another person is threatened by deadly physical force, but not if that physical force comes from a moving vehicle alone.
So at this point since all evidence shows that even if any occupant in the vehicle had a gun, unless the officer was fired upon they, under regulations cannot shoot at the vehicle. Thus this was, by the cops own words, an unjustified shooting. What were the cops words:
The undercover officer fired the first of 11 shots, yelling, “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!”
Notice the cop said "he's got a gun" (leaving aside the fact that no gun was even present). He didn't say anything about being shot at Which would be the only way, under police regulations for the officers to "return" fire.
But what makes this situation even more egregious is the fact that at least two of the bullets fired that morning went into a home, which potentially could have killed a or the resident. Also another shot went into the AirTran station that resulted in two Port Authority police to be cut by flying glass. That shot could have easily killed either one of them. Therefore; not only was the shooting unjustified and in violation of NYPD regulations it was reckless and could have resulted in at least two other deaths of innocent parties. So what was it about the mentality of the police in that location that made them completely disregard the lives of the innocent people in the area?
But getting back to the primary motivation for the shooting the story doesn't make sense we are told:
The undercover detective who fired first had been monitoring the group in the club. Once outside, the detective heard Mr. Guzman say “Yo, get my gun, get my gun,” and head with the others to his car, according to police. The undercover officer followed the group on foot, then positioned himself in front of their car.
According to the person briefed on the accounts, the detective, his police badge around his neck, then pulled out his gun, identified himself as a police officer and ordered the occupants to show their hands. They did not comply, the person said, but instead gunned the car forward, hitting the undercover officer and, seconds later, an unmarked police minivan. The undercover officer fired the first of 11 shots, yelling, “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!”
Which has been expanded upon with:
An undercover officer posted inside the Club Kalua, a site of frequent drug, weapon and prostitution complaints in Jamaica, overheard an exchange between a stripper and a man that led the officer to suspect the man was armed, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Saturday. The undercover officer alerted the officers acting as backup outside — there were seven officers in all — about 4 a.m., setting into motion the events to follow later.
Eight men left the club and argued briefly with another man, with one from the group saying, “Yo, get my gun,” Mr. Kelly said.
The eight men apparently split into two groups of four, with one group piling into a Nissan Altima driven by Mr. Bell, Commissioner Kelly said. As an undercover detective who had been following the group on foot approached the vehicle, Mr. Bell drove into him, striking his leg, before plowing into a minivan carrying two backup officers, the commissioner said...
Mr. Kelly said it was unclear whether there was a fourth man in the car and what became of him.
I'm going to forgo commentary on the wisdom of going somewhere where there are drugs and weapons around. However; I am going to assume that the man who got into the verbal altercation at the club knew of the atmosphere there and claimed to have a gun in order to bluff his way out of the situation. The problem here is two fold:
1) The officer assumed that the "suspect" was in fact telling the truth about the alleged gun. This would explain why he claimed "he has a gun" while letting go of 11 rounds.
2) The persons in the car did not believe that the plainclothes officer was in fact a cop (or thought he was on the take). I know that when I was harassed by plainclothes NYPD they did not show their badges so I think that the officer may be lying about the presenting the badge. If the officer involved did show his badge then I will lean towards the shooting victims having a case of "suicide by cop" as it is simply a bad idea to attempt to ram into a cop. Bad idea.
That said, even IF the cop had ID'd himself, by regulation he still cannot shoot at a moving vehicle AND it is reckless to let off 50 shots in a manner that endangers the public. SO in this case, the cops lose regardless.