How Do You Charge an Unarmed Man with Shooting People? Get the NYPD Involved.

Surprised they didn't demand the women they shot pay to replace the bulletsIn September, New York Police
officers responded to an emotionally disturbed man causing a ruckus
at a Times Square bus terminal by
opening fire
on him while they were surrounded by crowds and
traffic. They missed him and hit two innocent bystanders (one of
whom was in a walker). Police said at the time they thought the
man, Glenn Broadnax, was reaching for a gun, but he turned out to
be unarmed.

Even though Broadnax was not armed, an indictment unsealed
Wednesday is charging him with assault for the injuries caused by
police gunfire. From the
New York Times

The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, created a disturbance
on Sept. 14, wading into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue
and throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.

A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to
corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his
pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was
pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two
nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down
with a Taser. …

Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of
menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan
district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr.
Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25
years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on
Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “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 an assistant district attorney,
Shannon Lucey.

Broadnax was taken to Bellevue Hospital after they got him down
and told police he was hearing voices of dead relatives and was
trying to commit suicide. But a psychologist has nevertheless found
him competent to stand trial.

One of the women shot by the police is absolutely not having

Mariann Wang, a lawyer representing Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of
the women who was wounded, said the district attorney should be
pursuing charges against the two officers who fired their weapons
in a crowd, not against Mr. Broadnax. “It’s an incredibly
unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be prosecuting a man
who didn’t even injure my client,” she said. “It’s the police who
injured my client.”

New York City spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year

settling claims
against the city (though not all are tied to
police behavior). Despite trying to redirect responsibility
Broadnax’s way, it should not be a surprise to see six figures or
more of city money heading in the direction of Khoshakhlagh and the
other woman shot.

from Hit & Run

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