In September, the NYPD came under fire for striking two bystanders after trying to shoot an unarmed and seemingly unstable man in Times Square.
Now, they are deflecting their responsibility in the shooting and charging the unarmed man, Glenn Broadnax, with the blame and an assault charge.
According to Think Progress:
The indictment released on Wednesday accused Broadnax of being “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.” The two officers who actually pulled the trigger are still being investigated by the district attorney’s office.
Broadnax’s attorney told the New York Times he cannot be held responsible for the officers’ actions, since he “never imagined his behavior would ever cause the police to shoot at him.” Indeed, at the time of the incident, many questioned if pulling a gun on an unarmed man in one of the busiest areas in the city was a necessary call.
If convicted, Broadnax, 35, could spend up to 25 years in prison for the officers’ botched shooting.
This isn’t the first time the NYPD has faced scrutiny over firing on innocent bystanders. Last year, officers shot nine people while trying to take down a gunman outside the Empire State Building.
And unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive report on deadly shooting statistics because police departments are not required to have one. Data on national police shootings is hard to find because deadly force is often justified if the officers say they fear for their lives.
Officers accused of excessive force, however, rarely face consequences for their actions. One 2007 study found that just 19 of 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse and false arrests led to a police suspension of a week or more.
Wow. We wonder how many others, like Broadnax, have been blamed for the actions of police officers.
SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty