Cops were on watch list
Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:36 p.m.
"Kelly must go!"
After hosting a series of ongoing meetings with a variety of law enforcement groups, Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, told the Amsterdam News that there is a strong sentiment that "the buck has got to stop somewhere"--namely, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's bull pen at City Hall and Commissioner Ray Kelly's office at One Police Plaza. As he is funeralized this week, the fallout from the police slaying of Black police officer Omar Edwards coats the city.
After sitting down with organizations such as 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, Latino Officer's Association and the Guardians, Sharpton said, "The consensus that they are all coming out with is, 'Kelly must go.' We will make an announcement on Friday."
The NYPD would not comment.
Last Thursday night, May 28,just after getting off duty, Officer Edwards spotted a man breaking into his car in Harlem. Gun drawn, he chased the man, Miguel Santiago, across East 125th Street at Second Avenue. At the same time, an anti-crime unit came upon the scene. What happened over the next few minutes has yet to be truly verified. The police department now says that Santiago and at least two other people said Officer Andrew Dunton yelled that he was a cop, that Edwards turned around with gun in hand and Dunton shot him dead.
At least one of the bullets was to the back, however. No "contagious shooting" this time, a la Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell: Dunton fired his weapon, Sgt. John Anzelino and Officer John Musante did not.
A police source told the AmNews that shooter Andrew Dunton and his accompanying sergeant were previously placed on "force monitoring" and should not have been on the street at all.
The police department emphatically denied the charge. "The NYPD has a force monitoring program, which closely monitors officers who have been involved in an inordinate amount of incidents where force or complaints of unnecessary force was employed," Paul Browne, deputy commissioner of public information, said in an e-mailed response to an AmNews enquiry.
"None of the officers in this incident was under force monitoring. The shooting officer had not been involved in any prior shooting."
The NYPD did not respond to an additional AmNews request for information about complaints against Dunton.
But Sgt. Anzelino was also involved in the March 13, 2007, fatal shooting of Corey Mickens, 26, inside Cafe 22 on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. in Harlem. The police source told the AmNews that Dunton did indeed have several complaints against him, and that both "he and the sergeant were red-flagged and should not have been out on the streets."
Retired detective Marquez Claxton offered, "The complete complaint and disciplinary history of the police officers involved in this shooting should be released immediately. A big question is whether any of these officers were or should have been under special monitoring for excessive complaints. The closed-shop, backdoor maneuvering and misdirection by the NYPD is compromising the integrity of this investigation and eroding the public trust." Saying that the NYPD is misrepresenting basic facts, Claxton, co-founder of The Black Law Enforcement Alliance, continued, "The fact that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated that P.O. Omar Edwards was shot in the chest when in fact he was shot in the back magnifies the need for an independent investigation into this shooting. If you can't trust the police commissioner to state the truth, you can't trust this police department to conduct the investigation. Ray Kelly must be compelled to supply the source for his initial statement that threatens to compromise the integrity of the investigation."