NYPD officers suspended after “doing nothing” after guy shot himself – but they thought it was fireworks

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Four NYPD officers have been suspended, according to reports, for allegedly doing nothing after a man accidentally shot himself among a group of other people earlier in August – seemingly in full view of officers feet away.

Apparently, officials also say that the officers present during the accidental shooting also reported the incident as being fireworks-related.

The incident happened on August 23rd at approximately 9:00 p.m. in the area of West 136th Street and 7th Avenue.

Surveillance video from the incident show a group of individuals on the sidewalk huddled around each other, when a sudden flash goes off and the individuals scatter, and one man can be seen limping away.

The New York Post reported that the men seen in the video were “gambling and drinking” prior to the accidental discharge, and that the injured male wound up leaving the firearm behind before limping away.

While difficult to see at first glance, two sets of feet can be seen leaning against a wall mere feet away from where the incident occurred.

It turns out those feet belonged to two uniformed officers that were among a total of four stationed in the in the area as part of a “violence reduction” effort.

Parked on the street right next to where the incident happened was an NYPD patrol vehicle.

Approximately 30 seconds after the accidental shooting, one of the uniformed officers walks away from the wall that he was leaning against and peeks around the corner, and about a minute later the other officer as well as that first one approached the NYPD patrol vehicle that was parked on the street.

Reports also note that the four officers stationed at the area of the incident did not secure the firearm that was dropped on the sidewalk.

The officers who were on-scene reportedly called the incident in as being fireworks, but additional units wound up responding after 911 calls came in reporting the incident as gunfire.

NYPD officials have stated that bodycam has been reviewed in the incident and, when asked by investigators, two of the officers swore that they believed the incident to be fireworks-related and were oblivious to a man having accidentally shot himself.

It’s unclear as of this writing whether the two officers who attested the aforementioned were the officers on the sidewalk or inside of the nearby patrol vehicle. However, the four officers have since been suspended without pay while an investigation is conducted.

As for the man who reportedly shot himself, he was later identified as 32-year-old Xavier Shaw. He checked himself into Harlem Hospital after the incident and was later arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Residents seek return of plainclothes cops amid rising gun violence in police-defunded New York City

(Originally August 13th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to reports, many locals and business owners in Harlem are asking for an increase in police presence in the area, including bringing back plainclothes NYPD officers, to help combat the concerning levels of gun violence in the area.

In Harlem, the 32nd Precinct is one of the areas where gun violence has increased the most.

Shootings have increased by over 60% in the neighborhood this year compared to the same period of 2020.

Local restaurant owners claim that some of their customers have voiced concerns about potentially being shot by a stray bullet while dining on the street.

As of August 12th, 2021, the 32nd Precinct has seen 31 shooting incidents, whereas there were only 19 during the same timespan in 2020.

Alex Price, who operates the Cantina Restaurant on Lenox Avenue, is among those restaurateurs that would like to see more police in the area to help deter violent crime:

“I would feel more safe for me and my clients that we would have a little bit more police presence here.”

From 124th to 129th Street, business owners voiced concerns about the dramatic rise in shootings and crime, and what this represents for their customers’ safety.

Alpheaus Marcus, a local community activist, mirrored worries about patrons of outdoor dining establishments becoming the victims of “one of these bullets”:

“With the business establishments having outside events, the concern is one of these bullets, like we see in the city so many times, actually striking a patron.”

Marcus added that he’d like to see Mayor Bill de Blasio reinstate the plainclothes unit within the NYPD before he exits office in the coming months:

“What we want is, especially de Blasio with his last four months to stop playing politics. We want them to reactivate the plainclothes unit, because, again, these shootings are reckless and senseless.”

The NYPD’s plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit was disbanded during the summer of 2020, but plainclothes units have reemerged in the Bronx borough in recent months in an effort to curtail gang activity and drug crimes.

Local Travaulya Wallace believes that a plainclothes unit coming to help out in Harlem could be beneficial to the area:

“I do believe that there should be different type of officers in different type of clothing. Some outfits are intimidating, right? It can provoke some people to want to push against.”

Business owners along the strip running from 124th to 129th Street have also noted that a contributing factor to the gun crime in the area stems from the like of gang members and drug dealers establishing or holding down their territory.

Donnell Van Duyne remarked on that aspect impacting the area:

“In the area there’s a lot of gang violence. A lot of young kids are getting shot. Honestly speaking, it’s over nothing and it’s putting a lot of lives in danger.”

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams would like to see a full-on return of the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit, having mentioned back in April that the decision to disband the unit during the summer of 2020 was akin to throwing “out the baby with the bathwater”:

“We should not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Having a good Anti-Crime team will continue to take guns off the streets…We can do it right, we’ll get it right, and we’ll make sure our city is safe.”

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NYPD release bodycam footage of May Bronx shootout with suspect that happened feet away

(Originally published August 24th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Earlier in August, NYPD officials released the bodycam footage from an officer-involved shooting that happened on May 19th in the Bronx borough of New York City.

The dramatic footage shared by officials showed the exchanged gunfire that transpired between an NYPD officer and the suspect, who were spaced roughly three feet apart from each other during the incident.

At approximately 6:19 p.m. on May 19th, uniformed officers Lewellyn Alvarez and Imran Alli approached 39-year-old Calvin Peterkin after a reported incident at the Boost Mobile store on E. 174th St. and Vyse Avenue involving a man reportedly threatening an employee with a gun.

Officials say that CCTV footage captured Peterkin pulling a firearm from his waistband after getting into some sort of verbal altercation with the employee, minutes before police arrived in the scene.

A 911 caller later informed dispatch that she believed the suspect was attempting to rob the store, and the two officers who responded happened to be mere blocks away when the call came on the radio.

When officers Alvarez and Alli arrived at the store and approached the suspect, Peterkin can be seen being argumentative and noncompliant before starting to run from officers, firing two shots at Officer Alvarez during the foot pursuit.

Authorities say that Officer Alvarez fired five shots in response, with Officer Alli firing three. Peterkin was reportedly struck three times by the returned fire, having been struck in the left arm, right hand, and suffering a graze wound to his chest.

Officer Alvarez, who was mere feet away from the suspect when fired upon, was unharmed – as was his partner during the pursuit.

Despite having been shot three times, Peterkin was able to elude officers in that instance. However, police later caught up with Peterkin on May 24th, with the Regional Fugitive Task Force taking him into custody.

Peterkin has since been charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing a police officer.

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