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Prosecutor Urges Jurors To Just Weigh Facts In Brooklyn Cop Killer Case

Prosecutor Says Jurors Should Not Try To Avenge Death Of Det. Peter Figoski
Officer Peter Figoski, left (credit: Handout); Suspected gunman Lamont Pride in a 2009 mugshot (credit: Handout/Guilford County Sheriff’s Office)

Officer Peter Figoski, left (credit: Handout); Suspected gunman Lamont Pride in a 2009 mugshot (credit: Handout/Guilford County Sheriff’s Office)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The prosecution in the murder trial of NYPD Det. Peter Figoski delivered its closing arguments Wednesday in the case against accused cop-killer Lamont Pride.

Prosecutor Ken Taub told jurors that it is not their job to avenge the death of Figoski or to bring a measure of justice to his family and colleagues.

Figoski, 47, was shot in the face on Dec. 12, 2011.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch agreed with Taub’s assessment.

“The facts tell the real story, that they committed this crime. They intended to kill a cop to get away. If they just look at the facts impassionately, it’s a guilty verdict on the top charge. That’s what they meant to do, that’s what they did and Pride needs to go behind bars for the rest of his life,” he said.

Taub said the jurors must decide if the killing of Figoski was an accident, as the defense claims, or an intentional act on the part of Pride.

During his closing argument, Taub said while the defendant’s intent may have been to get away from a bungled robbery, he was also intent on killing any police officer who got in his way.

“He was a coward. He wanted to get away, he would do anything including killing a cop to get away and, after the fact, he’ll tell any story to get leniency, to say ‘I didn’t mean to do this.’ That’s a lie, too. He carried that weapon, had his finger on the trigger, used that weapon, pointed it at a police officer’s head and killed Peter Figoski,” said Lynch.

Prosecutors said Pride ambushed Figoski and shot him point-blank in the head while the officer and his partner were responding to a burglary call in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors said Figoski, who was undercover, never drew his own weapon.

Figoski was killed as he went down the basement steps to the scene of the robbery, Cornell reported.

On Tuesday, a co-defendant testified against Pride and another man as part of a plea deal that gave him a lesser sentence.

But in a tape shown to jurors last week, Pride claimed that he was smoking marijuana in the apartment that was robbed and nervously hid behind a boiler.

He said that he was trying to escape when he was confronted by a hooded man with a gun in his hand, who turned out to be Figoski. Pride said that after a struggle, a shot went off.

In court last week, jurors were shown crime scene photos of the basement where Figoski was shot and killed. They were also shown the alleged murder weapon, a 9mm Ruger pistol. Prosecutors said the gun was found underneath a vehicle near the scene.

Pride and Michael Velez, Pride’s alleged getaway driver, are currently on trial. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Two other suspects in the case have pleaded not guilty. They have yet to stand trial.

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