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BobB35
05-29-2009, 6:06 AM
I came across the following article.

My question is "How frequently do on-duty officers come across off-duty or plain clothes officers in this type of situation?



Off-duty NYPD cop fatally shot by fellow officer
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By JENNIFER PELTZ
Associated Press Writer
Published: Friday, May. 29, 2009 - 4:32 am
Last Modified: Friday, May. 29, 2009 - 6:02 am

NEW YORK -- A plainclothes policeman who drew his gun while chasing someone he had found rummaging through his car was shot and killed by a fellow officer who was driving by and saw the pursuit, the police commissioner said.

Commissioner Raymond Kelly said 25-year-old Omar J. Edwards died after being shot late Thursday within blocks of the Harlem police station where he worked.

Edwards had just finished his shift around 10:30 p.m. when he headed to his car and saw that the driver's-side window had been smashed and a man was going through the vehicle, Kelly said.

Edwards struggled with the man, who got away from him by slipping out of his sweater, Kelly said. Edwards chased the man up two streets with his gun drawn, he said.

A sergeant and two plainclothes officers in an unmarked police car saw the pursuit and made a U-turn to follow the men, Kelly said. One of the officers jumped out of the car and fired six times, hitting Edwards twice - once in the arm and once in the chest, he said.

Kelly said Edwards did not fire his weapon. He died at the Harlem Hospital Center about an hour after the shooting.

It was unclear whether the officers identified themselves. The name of the officer who fired the shots has not been released, but Kelly said he had worked at the NYPD for four years.

"While we don't know all the details of what happened tonight, this is a tragedy. Rest assured that we will find out exactly what happened here, and we will learn from it so it doesn't happen again," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference from the hospital.

Kelly said Edwards had been on the force for two years and worked in the housing bureau. He was recently married and had two young children.

On Friday, police blanketed the shooting scene. A stretch of 125th Street, a major thoroughfare, was blocked off. People passing in cars and waiting for buses tried to get a glimpse beyond the yellow crime-scene tape; some asked each other what was going on.

The shooter was white and Edwards was black, a fact that could raise questions about police use of deadly force in a minority community.

In the past three years in the New York City area, there have been two other cases of off-duty policemen being shot and killed by other officers.

In 2008, a black, off-duty Mount Vernon police officer was killed by a Westchester County policeman while holding a gun on an assault suspect in suburban White Plains. A grand jury found the victim had failed to identify himself as an officer. County officers - one white, one black and two Hispanic - were cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury.

In 2006, a New York City police officer, Eric Hernandez, was shot and killed by an on-duty patrolman who was responding to an attack at a White Castle in the Bronx.

ChuckBooty
05-29-2009, 8:11 AM
Geeze...that's tragic. But it kinda seems like it's the plain-clothes guys fault. I'm not an cop, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to go running after somebody with your gun drawn, on OR off duty. You could trip and shoot an innocent or something. I don't think it's that much of a stretch to say that the on-duty officer may have (inadvertently?) saved someone's life.

Ron-Solo
05-29-2009, 10:59 PM
Geeze...that's tragic. But it kinda seems like it's the plain-clothes guys fault. I'm not an cop, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to go running after somebody with your gun drawn, on OR off duty. You could trip and shoot an innocent or something.

I've had to run with my gun drawn many times, but not generally in a foot pursuit. Ya gotta keep the finger off the trigger! The risk is increased, but the gun won't go boom unless the finger is on the trigger.


I don't think it's that much of a stretch to say that the on-duty officer may have (inadvertently?) saved someone's life.

No, the on-duty officer took someone's life. The likelihood of someone other than the original suspect getting shot was slim



This is a tragic event that happens from time to time. Off duty incidents are extremely dangerous due to the lack of identification, communications, backup, safety gear, etc. Always enter into off duty incidents only as a last resort.

BigDogatPlay
05-30-2009, 8:33 AM
^^^ +1 ^^^

While they don't happen frequently, these types of incidents do happen and often enough that there have been a number of papers and article written on it and how to survive it. I remember a staged photo from a magazine article many years ago that depicted two guys in street clothes, one holding the other at gun point. The photo was taken over a uniformed officers shoulder as he was getting out of his unit with the spotlight focused on the firearm held by one of the two guys. Pretty easy math to do.

Taking peace officer action with a firearm off duty has to be, in my mind, a last resort / him or me situation. And the words of Dudley Smith come to mind....

"Hold up your badge, so they'll know you're a policeman."

masameet
05-30-2009, 10:21 AM
If memory serves, another NYC off-duty cop was shot about 2 years ago by an on-duty cop. He was in civilian wear and at some fastfood restaurant at about 4 or 5a.m. when some other customers cut in line. He protested and they attacked him. Somehow the brawl ended up outside. He drew his handgun. But before he could fire, the on-duty cop showed up and shot him dead. It was believed that the blows to his head were severe enough to confuse and disorient him. He had also been to some bars before going to the restaurant. But I disremember whether he was ordered to drop his weapon. Both cops were Hispanic.

About 12 or so years ago an off-duty Oakland cop was shot by at least one, if not two, on-duty OPD officers. Don't remember the time of day. The officer survived his wounds, sued OPD, and prevailed. Unfortunately last year, I believe it was, he killed himself. At the time of his death, he had attained the rank of lieutenant. He was black and the officers who shot him are white.

tyrist
05-30-2009, 11:44 AM
Often enough that we get roll call training about off duty actions pretty frequently. The message is don't do anything and be a good witness. Obviously if somebody is going to die immediately it might be worth it but over property it's not. Also if it's an immediate threat to life it's unlikely on duty Officers would show up till after the suspect is neutralized and your gun is out of sight.