Last September, NYPD officers opened fire on an unarmed, emotionally disturbed man who was wandering through traffic in Times Square – and ended up shooting two women instead.
The man, Glenn Broadnax, waded into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and threw himself into the path of oncoming cars. Officers tried to subdue the man, and after he reached into his pocket, two of the cops opened fire.
The officers, who thought Broadnax was pulling out a gun, missed their target and shot two innocent bystanders.
Broadnax was eventually knocked down with a Taser.
Now Broadnax is being charged with assault based on the theory that he was responsible for the the shooting of the two bystanders, according to an indictment unsealed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, the NY Times reports:
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.
The two police officers have been placed on administrative duty and are under investigation by the District Attorney’s office.
Broadnax’s lawyer, Rigodis Appling, said his client suffers from anxiety and depression and was disoriented and scared when the police shot at him. She said he was reaching for his wallet, not a gun. “Mr. Broadnax never imagined his behavior would ever cause the police to shoot at him,” she said.
Broadnax was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center after his arrest. He told a detective there that “he was talking to dead relatives in his head and that he tried throwing himself in front of cars to kill himself,” according to a court document released on Wednesday.
A court-ordered mental evaluation found Broadnax competent to stand trial.
Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of the two women who was hit by police fire, doesn’t think Broadnax should be held responsible for her injury. Khoshakhlagh’s attorney, Mariann Wang, 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. It’s the police who injured my client.”
Why didn’t the police just use the Taser on Broadnax in the first place? Why did they think shooting into a crowd was a good idea? And how is an unarmed, mentally ill man responsible for the “shoot now, ask questions later” mentality of the police?
Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”