NYPD

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

Police open fire on man, hit bystanders, and DA charges him with the crime

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Surprised they didn't demand the women they shot pay to replace the bullets
Credit: Giacomo Barbaro / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

In 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 it:

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.

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  1. He disobeyed a lawful order. After that, anything that happens is on him.

    Here in NH, after a cop shot an unarmed woman (albeit after she led them on a car chase), I heard an ex cop on the radio say “for every action there is a reaction”. So there you have it. Anything you do justifies any reaction from a cop, up to and including execution on the spot. Sort of like, if she didn’t want to get raped, she shouldn’t have worn that skirt.

  2. “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”

    Who did that? I forget.

    1. He drew the attention of the feral NYPD. That’s pretty much “conduct which creates a grave risk of death”, isn’t it?

  3. I would like to hear some of our resident lawyers comment on this.

  4. The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.

    So police incompetence is someone else’s fault.

    I don’t know if I should call that attitude childish or welfare whorish.

    1. Can’t it be both?

    2. The crazy guy should have known that the police would act recklessly when they encountered him. That’s what police generally do, so it was completely foreseeable.

      1. Crazy guys always foresee common events.

    3. The police are doing everything possible to remove all responsibility from their actions. So that they can do pretty much anything, and as long as they can point to a non-cop doing something, anything, that caused them to “respond”, every result of anything that happens is on the non-cop(s).

      Of course they want this. It’s a power-abuser’s wet fucking dream.

  5. BASIC FIREARM SAFETY RULES
    1 Know the condition of your weapon at all times, loaded or unloaded.
    2 Never point the muzzle of your weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3 Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to engage your target, keep it along side the frame or trigger guard.
    4 Know what is in front and behind your target, and fire accordingly.
    5 Unless you are a cop, in which case all bets are off.

    1. COP FIREARM SAFETY RULES
      1. OPEN FIRE!
      2. AIM FOR DOGS, CHILDREN, AND THE ELDERLY.
      3. GO HOME SAFE!

  6. He telepathically controlled the officers and forced them to shoot innocent people. It was clearly his fault.

    What’s that you say? Telepathy doesn’t exist? The officers shot of their own accord? Oh, I see. So WTF is going on here?

  7. “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.”

    If Broadnax had sufficiently deep pockets, she’d be singing a different tune.

  8. This is an example of shit you just can’t make up.

    1. At first glance I thought the title meant that the police charged a man with no arms with shooting people.

      1. Psychic midget escapes from prison!

        Small Medium at Large!

    1. Dang it! That was for the Donate thread!

  9. Ell, if he had a gun, he would have shot someone. My dog told me!

  10. Sahar Khoshakhlagh

    Goes great with crab juice.

    1. Or Mountain Dew?

      1. BLECH!

    2. No bowl, STICK!

  11. 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.

    It might have been one of those newfangled walletguns, phoneguns or any of the other imaginary hobgoblinguns police always somehow see.

    Pants.
    Shitting.
    Pussies.

    1. How the fuck could you MISS a guy weighing 250 lbs? Were they shooting from Grand Central Station? Or was the guy 40 ft tall?

      1. Go to a shooting range and once in lane, look up at the shade/roof and note how many bullet holes are there. Then go ask the range officer what the profession was of those individuals who put most of those holes there.

        If the answer isn’t cops, you’re probably at at police-run range and being lied to.

  12. May as well go all the way back to the source and charge his mother with giving birth to him. She should have known this would happen.

    1. Everyone knows that his grandma was the twitchy one.

  13. Visiting my wife in NYC right now … will I be shot if I go out for lunch today? Eating out here is already kinda expensive, nevermind being left with the bill for my fellow customers lead sandwiches.

    1. SANDWICHGUN! DROPITDROPITDROPIT!

      1. BLAMBLAMBLAM!

        1. Wrong order. Shoot first and fix the narrative during the “investigation”.

    2. Gordilocks|12.5.13 @ 11:50AM|#
      “Visiting my wife in NYC right now … will I be shot if I go out for lunch today? Eating out here is already kinda expensive, nevermind being left with the bill for my fellow customers lead sandwiches.”

      Hey, SEIU thugs are picketing fast-food joints. I eat Micky D’s food occasionally and I’m sure going to do so today to show solidarity with the folks who are working and want jobs.

      1. Maybe if I order a sandwichgun at McDick’s, those SEIU thugs will take the bullets.

      2. I was considering that. Today was going to be one of those few days I eat lunch, and I hate to spend it on something like MickyD… but I do feel like showing my support.

        Hmm… a hearty soup, or a Big Mac? I’m really not sure.

    3. go to joes shanghai and get soup dumplings and the crispy fried whole yellow fish.

      DO IT NOW!!

      1. No, seriously = Cheap early dinner in Chinatown. Go before 6-7PM. There’s a line otherwise. Get 2 orders of soup dumplings, split an entr?e (crispy whole yellow fish!), get rice and some veggies (Szechwan stringbeans) on the side

        Around $24 *for 2*. And it will kick your ass.

  14. These Police Officers seem to be delusional. There is no way someone could acquire a hand gun in Bloomberg’s utopia.

    Sorry, dystopia.

    1. I hope that’s his defense. “How could the police have felt I had a gun if only police have guns in NYC?”

  15. I understand the concept they are vaguely using. Such as when two armed men rob a bank and one of them shoots a teller, both can be charged with murder. Or if the bank guard kills one of the robbers, the other can be charged for his death. It’s an assumed conspiracy type of thing – both criminals can be held responsible for all the results of the conspiracy to commit a crime.

    But this (apparently disturbed) man’s actions seemed to be a confused attempt to kill himself not anyone else. Charging him for the results of the cop’s overreaction and irresponsibility is outrageous.

    1. Which is why the concept is incredibly horrible. Because it doesn’t make any sense. In the bank scenario, obviously only the person who shot the guy is guilty of killing the man. Other people should not be held directly responsible for the undirected actions of another person.

      1. It’s not unreasonable to hold someone responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their unlawful actions. It’s not unlawful to reach for your pocket, even it alarms someone, and even if I broke the not-reaching-for-your-pocket law, two strangers far away being shot is not foreseeable.

    2. The cops were just trying to help him. He wanted to die and they wanted to (helpfully) kill him.

  16. If he had actually pulled a gun so this was a good shoot, then maybe.

    But he didn’t. This was a bad shoot, meaning that the cops who fired on him committed a crime. He’s not responsible for their crimes.

    What I really want to know is this: Who did the cops send the bill for all the bullets to? The victims, or the defendant?

    1. To the taxpayer, as always.

  17. This is going to end up going both ways. If a cop is chasing a reckless person in a car and accidentally hits someone else then it is the person that they are chasing that is criminally charged unless it is deemed that the police was reckless as well – at that point whoever is injured will likely sue both the police and the person being chased. Attempting to place criminal charges only on the chased is one way to reduce the likelihood of civil penalties against the police.

    This will come down to whether the police officers were reckless – which in this case it does sound likely to some extent. The police deal with armed people a lot more than the average person. It’s going to be hard to prove complete recklessness on the police’s part because if the man had had a gun then the police could have been saving lives. We pay the police to make correct split second decisions – so they are responsible for making the correct one. But it’s a lot to ask a jury to place themselves in the officers’ position and not have reasonable doubt that they (or any average person) would do the same. Of course, a police officer is not an average person when it comes to these situations, but they still have limitations and juries weight that.

    1. Actually, we’ve seen multiple cases where the average concealed carrier didn’t shoot because he might have shot someone other than the suspect. Only police shoot willy nilly, and it sadly contributes to NYC dopes reasoning that if the trained new professionals of the NYPD can’t aim accurately under stress than no one else could possibly do so either.

      Of course, if responsible gun ownership were actually legal in NYC, the potential jurors would know better, but they don’t so guess how this will play out. If this happened in Montana, we’d see a different result. But people live in NYC because they are too stupid to realize that living in NYC is a horrible idea.

      1. Actually, we’ve seen multiple cases where the average concealed carrier didn’t shoot because he might have shot someone other than the suspect. Only police shoot willy nilly…

        Well, yeah. A citizen with a permit would be held responsible for their actions, while police are not. It’s almost as if consequences have an effect on behavior or something.

    2. The police deal with armed people a lot more than the average person.

      [citation needed]

  18. Wow. This really is at the same moral level as sending the family a bill for the bullet you used to execute somebody.

  19. “‘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.'”

    Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.

  20. WHY DO YOU KEEP MAKING ME BEAT YOU!?! WHY DO YOU INSIST I KEEP TASING YOU?@? ANSWER ME AND STOP FROTHING AND SCREAMING!@@@!!! STOP RESISTING!!

  21. “Well at least this will be an effective deterrent from police officers opening fire on unarmed people anymore, because….”

    Oh, wait.

  22. this falls under the same concept as felony murder. In the above used example, one of the bank robbers is shot by the police and the surviving robber gets charged. This more like the same example except the police shoots and kills an innocent bystander. The guy in the getaway car who wasn’t a part of the shootout still gets charged with felony murder for the death of the bystander.

    Obviously, in this case, there was no shootout, but if the police were still justified in firing their weapons (unclear), then the guy charged is criminally liable for their action. No regular person should have to wait until fired upon to draw and fire their weapons, if they reasonably believe they are about to be shot at and neither should the police.

  23. Are you sure you know what police incompetence looks like? Or are you making it up as you go along? Seems like Reason has a leftist mentality towards its expectations of safety in this world. Perhaps a Nietzsche noted, they believe that they can eliminate danger and suffering in the world.

    From the scant facts, officers reacted to a perceived threat. People were injured. You conclude because the cops missed twice and hit other people and that the suspect was unarmed, they were incompetent. What is your suggested procedure? Wait until they can make a confirmed determination of what weapon the perp has, or identify the model of gun?

    Seems like the suspect fits being insane at the time of his act. That he is able to stand trial later is reasonable (like my use of your title?) as the insane aren’t always insane 24/7) You can look that up.

    Wether the shooting was unjustified hopefully will be left up to another authority with greater expertise and will determine the facts of the case than what has been covered in this blog post.

    1. Assuming this wasn’t sarcasm, yes, my suggested procedure would be to wait until you see a gun, or something that looks like a gun, or something that might be a gun, before shooting, and then, shooting the person with the gun instead of two other people chosen at random.

      And I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here.

      1. Funny that one cop finally tased the guy. I would think that that might be the first option.

  24. Funny, just got this in my email. Timely. And accurate.

    http://www.lawofficer.com/arti…..arterbacks

  25. If you click through all the hyperlinks, eventually you get to one of the original NY Post stories:

    From the Sept 13 NY Post article: “He’s got a gun!” witnesses said someone in the crowd shouted just before shots rang out.

    But now from the New York Times article: “The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.

    So by this twisted government logic: Yes, the cops are innocent but shouldn’t the bystander be charged with false reporting to the police? As for the victims, well they ruined some perfectly good bullets. They should be charged with destruction of gov’t property.

    Finally, from the Sept 13 NY Post article: “The two officers who opened fire are rookies, with 18 months and three years on the job.”

    Ummm, I’m an active duty US Marine. We’re expected upon graduation from MCRD to not shoot innocent people. When does that requirement kick in for cops? After the five-year mark?

    1. whenever their equivalent to tenure is

  26. Too bad none of the bystanders shot the cops in self-defense.

  27. If this outrages you, please sign the petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/si…..by=3418795

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