NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Conflicting stories are circulating about Thursday’s police-involved shooting in Brooklyn.
The family of the man who was shot by an off-duty NYPD sergeant says this was not a random incident. The sergeant says he opened fire during an attempted robbery.
“I want justice for my son and my family,” Thavone Santana’s mother said Friday.
Sources told CBS2 that NYPD Sgt. Ritchard Blake, 40, and Santana, 21, knew each other and were arguing over a woman. They said the sergeant was staying in the area with his long-time girlfriend, who is neighbors and friends with Santana, which has caused at least one other dispute between the two men.
“The police initially lied, they tried to cover it up,” Assemblyman Charles Barron added. “This mother here was violated by those that we paid to protect us – shot her son in the face twice. This was an attempted murder of a person who was unarmed.”
“When you have a rogue officer who decides to take actions into his own hands, and this is something we can’t allow,” said community activist Chris Banks.
Surveillance video shows a man walking near Livonia and New Jersey avenues in East New York around 5 a.m. Thursday and another man following behind. Police said the men exchanged words and the victim’s hand was in his pocket before the sergeant fired.
Sources said the victim fell and the sergeant called 911. When police arrived, they took the sergeant’s gun and found a box cutter in his pocket.
“Video of the incident has been recovered and is under review. The video captures actions that raise serious questions, and require further investigation,” the NYPD said in a statement Friday night.
The victim was not armed.
“There was no weapon involved. This wasn’t about a robbery. This was about a mad officer who did not control his temper,” said Rev. Kevin McCall, of the National Action Network.
Investigators have not been able to talk to Santana, because he cannot speak yet. But his is in stable condition.
Sgt. Blake is on dismissal probation for a previous domestic incident involved another woman, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
“There are certain things we saw in this investigation. We have questions unanswered at this point,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said Thursday. “Until we answered them, we felt it was best to place him on modified duty.”
Ed Mullins, president of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association, released a statement about the investigation on Friday.
“As the investigation progresses, Sgt. Ritchard Blake is entitled to due process, as is anyone involved in a shooting. It is crucial for the integrity of the law enforcement community, as well as the Sergeants Benevolent Association, that all of the facts are obtained and thoroughly investigated. As the nuances of this unique case are reported, it is also important that the good work that police officers of all ranks do every day not be diminished in any way.”
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office met with Santana’s mother, promising a thorough investigation.