New York City Cops Shoot Innocent Bystanders. Again.

“Two NYPD cops opened fire at a deranged man a block from Times Square — as he pretended to point a gun at them — but instead struck a pair of innocent bystanders Saturday night,” nydailynews.com reports, with pics aplenty. It’s not all that surprising that New York’s Finest opened fire on a crazed man who aimed his index finger at them. Let’s call that a Mulligan—and hope the event doesn’t trigger a rash of school discipline actions against pointy-fingered kids. Less acceptable: the fact that the cops missed. Actually, what’s really awesome (and not in a good way) is . . .

NYPD about to shoot bystanders (courtesy nydailynews,com)

just how many of the Boys in Blue had their weapons drawn and how many aimed them in the perp’s general direction. So . . . not much has changed since the Empire State Building shooting, save the fact that the cops only injured two civilians instead of nine.

 

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

83 Responses to New York City Cops Shoot Innocent Bystanders. Again.

  1. It sure is a good thing in New York that their officers train regularly at engaging targets from distances of 15-20 feet or else they would have shot even more people.

    Always look on the bright side of life, I say.

    ; )

    • avatarJohn F says:

      Blumburg “Nanny” should ban guns in NY City, take them away from everyone INCLUDING THE POLICE.
      That would make it a SAFE place to live, “Save the public, take the GUNS away from Cops”

      • avatarpk in AZ says:

        And no comment yet from the bloody children’s shirt waving Mr. Mark Giffords?

        Shocking, I say, absolutely shocking!

    • avatarAndrew says:

      That whole video was keystone Kops in every way – tackle or shoot the f-cking guy already.

  2. avatarPat says:

    And they want to take our guns away!

  3. avatarDanny says:

    I’ve heard that NYPD cops inherent inaccuracy is related to how the Glock pistols they use have modded triggers to be heavier than normal to replicate the feel of the old revolvers they used to have. Not sure if this is true mind you, I don’t really know if that can cause accuracy issues or not.

    • avatarDavidT says:

      It’s actually the second, heavier “New York” trigger. The standard Glock trigger is about 5.5 lbs and works well for, what, 98% of the users of that line of firearms. The first NY trigger was about 8 lbs but evidently wasn’t stiff enough to prevent NDs, so the had Glock design the current one which is around 11 lbs. So now they don’t have very many NDs but, as has been repeatedly shown, they can’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. Heavy trigger + light gun = horrible accuracy, without extensive practice.

    • avatarmpow66m says:

      its called a NYC trigger,its true and it has a 12 lb pull i belive.they need to get rid of them…….for the bystanders sakes.

    • avatarjwm says:

      I don’t buy that. At least not completely. One of the most accurate handguns I own is a bone stock x police S&W revolver. Using it double action, if I can see it, I can hit it. At any range that would be acceptable for a handgun. I also have a Sigma. The poor man’s Glock. I’ve never measured the trigger pull on the Sigma, but it’s heavier than the 5.5 lb. standard for a factory Glock. That gun is also very accurate for a stock duty weapon.

      I think that training and attitude is 99% of what’s wrong with the NYPD when these keyestone cops adventures happen.

      • avatarDavidT says:

        The key is training and practice. Most cops, especially in big cities, train just enough to pass qualification, practicing only when that time approaches. The predictable result is becoming most apparent in places like NYC, as seen above. That they disparage non-government employee types (you and me) as being untrained is laughable, since most of us will shoot more in a month than they will in a year, developing the necessary proficiency with our chosen sidearm.

        • avatarOkieRim says:

          Exactly..are we, 2-3-4 gun shooters, guys who shoot hundreds or even thousands of rounds each month, ex/retired military are the “civilians”….my ass, NYD and other metro PD’s are replicating brown shirts and it shows. I suggest a federal law that limits the amount of stars a police chief can wear..the Little General’s.
          Not too mention that a fair number of folks on gun boards, if not long-time “customers” of various shooting academies, are actually the trainers themselves.

      • avatarS.CROCK says:

        i think training is 33% of the problem and attitude is 66% of the problem.

      • avatarEd in NJ says:

        As Mpow said, the NY1 Trigger is 12lb. pull. Not exactly conducive to accuracy. My late father and my brother-in-law were NYPD and their S&w pistols, which I have shot are much lighter pull than the NY1 which I have also shot.

    • avatarC says:

      It’ll definitely make it harder to be accurate with that heavy a trigger, but missing a man sized target at 15 feet is just carelessness.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Here’s the deal on the “NY Trigger” going back to their adoption of the Glock:

      The Glock 17/19′s standard trigger was 5.5 lbs of pull when it first came out. The NYPD had been using S&W revolvers before the adoption of the Glock.

      Anyway, the NYPD lets a big contract for Glocks to replace their S&W’s – because they were feeling “outgunned” (never mind that the typical officer fired his/her gun about twice every seventh day of never). The factory spec for a S&W revolver is about 12.5# in DA mode, 2.75# in SA mode. The NYPD was taught to fire from DA mode.

      Now the Glock is fielded and the fun started. The NYPD started “red striping” themselves by firing their guns as they re-holstered them. Why? Because they had their booger hooks on the bang switch or inside the trigger guard as they re-holstered. So the NYPD increased the trigger pull weight, under the theory (put forward by a bunch of desk-riding bureaucrats and self-annointed experts) that the 5.5# trigger pull was “too light.” Yea, yea – never mind those of us who have triggers on match pistols that are lighter than the standard Glock trigger. Never mind that we’ve never shot ourselves. We’re morons in the private sector. Everyone knows that the only real experts on anything are from the private sector.

      First they went to 8#+. Then they had a couple more incidents. Then they decided “hey, the S&W’s were a 12+ lb DA pull, let’s go to that!”

      And here we are. I could hit someone in the head with my S&W’s from DA mode. It’s not difficult. There is a technique called “stacking the trigger” that makes most of the long/heavy pull issue moot. It would work on a Glock with a NYPD “full retard” trigger as well.

      The truth is that the NYPD employs a bunch of people with IQ’s too low for the job. All the evidence you need is there in the video above. That bunch shouldn’t be trusted with so much as a pointy stick.

      I don’t like Glocks, have never liked Glocks, but I will admit that they work; after all, I own two. All that is necessary to make a Glock work correctly is to remember to keep your booger hook off the bang switch until such time as you’re ready to actually shoot something. But you see, the NYPD is desperate to shoot something, anything, and that means that they spend far too much time on the bang switch: while covering innocent bystanders, while putting their weapon into the holster, etc.

      • avatarsagebrushracer says:

        Heh, They should increase it to whatever the pull on my Nagant Revolver is. Sucker has a huge DA trigger pull, at least 15+lbs, probably closer to 20.

      • avatar16V says:

        But, but, “everything” just might be a threat to “officer safety” so they are allowed to fire at anything they want.

        My copper relatives are rotating at turbocharger speeds in their graves.

  4. avatarDJ says:

    Good thing they didn’t have tasers! Uhmmm… wait…

    • avatarHobbez says:

      ^^This

      Why would you draw and fire with a crowd of people on all sides? Have these guys never read the 4 rules? Thats just piss poor training. You can’t tell me these cops don’t have less-lethal or non-lethal methods to use in this situaltion. Leave that glock holstered and whip out that air taser. Maybe it’s time for big city cops to not have real guns. Taser, mace, rubber bullets, maybe… Maybe it’s partially media hype but, it seems that New York, Chicago, LA, etc. cops hurt civies way more than they actually put real criminals in jail.

      • avatarAndy says:

        They’re cops, rules don’t apply to them. They’re above the rules, rules are for little people, the ones they step on.

      • avatarCliff H says:

        “Why would you draw and fire with a crowd of people on all sides?”

        Because the MOST important ting for them is “to go home to my family at night” and there is little or no serious downside to them shooting bystanders by accident when engaged in apprehending a perp.

        Hell, there’s millions of “civilians” in New York, what’s the big deal if the cops knock down a few bystanders now and again? /s

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          Especially in Times Square. Hell, they’re all tourists from out of town; not our problem…

    • avatarS.CROCK says:

      i would way rather read “two bystanders tazed” rather than “two bystanders shot.”

      • avatarHannibal says:

        If deadly force is being used it is too late for non-deadly force. Now, we can start arguing over whether it is reasonable to misjudge a finger for a gun…

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        The one (probably fresh from the Academy) cop did try to taze him, but the tazer “failed.” Then the Keystone Kops opened up. I’m surprised they didn’t shoot each other.

  5. avatarjb says:

    Notice how long it takes the “reporter” to mention the cops did the shooting.

  6. avatarMichael says:

    Wow, talk about a lack of gun control. And, somebody just hit the lottery-seeing the NYPD is going to have to pay out for this gross lack of training and negligence on the officers part.

    • avatarJPD says:

      Maybe a lawyer, 4 years down the road. but in today’s AmeriKa, with long waits to trial, 40% to your lawyer, regulated limits on liability. The tax dollars the two wounded people will ultimately get, in 4 or 5 years? May cover the cost of lunch at Burger King.

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        Cities usually settle. It’s quicker and cheaper.

      • avatarSemper Why says:

        CNN is reporting that one of the bystanders has already checked out of the hospital, on foot, with a NYPD spokesperson and an unnamed gentleman in a suit walking with her. When asked a question, the suit told her to not answer it.

        I think they’re going straight to compensation and skipping the lawsuit phase.

  7. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    1. put the cops (idiots) on desk duty for reckless endangerment (possible medical/stress related leave)
    2. don’t say anything to the press till it blows over
    3. buy off the 2 that got shot
    4. have the little elf (dumberg) make a speech on how all is well in his empire and how he will continue to try and take away your guns
    5. repeat as needed

    Thats the new york way…….

  8. avatarMIKE B says:

    i know quite a few LEO’s and they all agree that most cops are POORLY trained and honestly don’t grasp the magnitude of the responsibility that the have.. They guys im speaking just so happen to be combat vets as well as “men of the gun” so coming in they fully understood whats is required of them. We all worked together as PPO at one point and they all agree that our firearms training as PPO’s was far more robust than what they received in the academy. For ANYONE that carries a firearm, this kind of lack of situational awareness is completely unacceptable especially from a peace officer.

  9. avatarAnonymous says:

    These shootings are about panic, self preservation and accuracy . . . in that order. Those cops are there to go home at the end of the day, even if a few civilians die or are wounded.

    Gutless wonders.

    • avatarCliff H says:

      Great minds and all – I unintentionally duplicated most of your post in a response I posted above. Well said.

  10. avatarDQ says:

    If it takes 20 of the NY’s finest to take down an unarmed deranged man. How many will it take to take down an armed violent criminal? NY definitely needs to train their LEO’s better

  11. avatarPascal says:

    Witness Mike Favilla told The News cops opened fire after the man put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a MetroCard and pointed it at the officers like it was gun. How about if the person was simply point out directions or some landmark to someone and not just point at police. I have done that myself.

    That’s it, ban all MetroCards. Its obvious the “children” will be in danger because the police cannot tell the difference between a real gun versus a “very” yellow piece of paper with a magnetic strip!

    Perhaps the police should train on not shooting considering at one point one of the officers simply walked up to the man and cuffed him. Oh yes, the oh so skilled among us whom we are told are better than us in every single way.

    What happened to assess the situation part of the training. Is the guy who heads the training teaching them to be paranoid of every shadow and MetroCard ?

    I would hate to see what will happen and how many innocent people will be shot by the police if a real gun man should ever truly opened fire in the middle of Times Square.

    • avatarCliff H says:

      Better yet, ALL Metro cards should be either silver or matt black and cut to the shape and size of an S&W J-frame or a mini-Glock. Maybe the cops would learn to be more careful if millions of people were walking around flashing cards that looked like pistols?

      The shape of a pistol as a tool is very efficient. Maybe the smart move would be to glut the environment with everyday objects that have the shape and color of various size pistols.

  12. avatarST says:

    According to the RAND group,the NYPD testing regimen is 100 rounds per year,50 rounds.for a qualifier.39 out of 50 is considered “passing”.

    If the officers were carrying standard grade Glocks and Sigs,perhaps that’s doable.When the issue sidearms are DAO 5946s(the silver 9mm in the video w/a 12 lb trigger )and NY model Glocks,that’s criminally little practice.

    According to the same RAND study,the reason the NYPD barely trains their patrol officers is due to logistics-in Soviet NYC,theres only one gun range available for 22,000 officers. If the constabulary actually spent quality time shooting,a backlog would crop up in a hurry.

    The heavy trigger pull is owed to liability prevention.Put simply ,our tort law means even the vilest scumbag-or their survivors- has standing to sue the NYPD for “wrongful death”.By making the trigger pull anvil-heavy,opposing counsel can’t say an NYPD officer negligently fired their weapon when Joe Felon got waxed on the lower east side.Time will tell if tort suits on the part of shot up bystanders will change this perspective.

  13. avatarLongPurple says:

    There’s a poster “LAWSJ” on the Daily News site who defends the stupidity of the way the NYPD handled this situation, and tells those who suggest that it was poorly handled to mind their own business — a real “Leave it to us ‘Professionals’, we know it all” viewpoint.
    I wonder if LAWSJ is in the command structure of the NYPD, or maybe it’s Bloomie himself.

  14. avatarEddie Greenberg says:

    Maybe the Brits have an idea by not letting most street cops NOT have guns.
    Number one: TRAIN these cops to shoot!!!
    Number two: WHY does it take 20 cops for one nut???
    Number three: What happened to tasers, night sticks??
    Number four: MOST IMPORTANT, I have always wondered why when you have a scene where there are multiple LEO, with guns, even swat teams, WHY WHY WHY isn’t there SOMEONE in charge and ONLY three or four officers who are authorized to shoot, not 20 or 30. Even in this picture some cop who is 50 feet back, behind 10 or 20 other cops has his gun out. He can only shoot his own or civilians!!

  15. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    IMHO this is less due to gun training than to team tactics/training. Nothing has changed in the NYPD in 40 years. The Academy runs nothing that approaches what the Military does in terms of officers working together to a common goal. Where is the command, control and communications? Non-existent.

    If folks have time, dig up the video from years back when a crazy dude with a samuri sword showed up on the White House lawn. He was calmly and strategically surrounded by a half dozen SS with axe handles. When the CD (crazy dude) looked to the right, a SS guy from the left hit him on the head. When CD looked to the left, a SS guy from the right hit him on the head. In about 20 seconds the CD went down for good and was carted off to the pysch ward. Notice that the NYPD doesn’t even use batons anymore. Years ago this would have been settled with nightsticks and it would have been over.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      My thoughts too. I noticed that without night sticks, none of the officers wanted to get close to this guy. Three guys and a bum rush would have put him on the ground–just like what happened (eventually). Gun fire was never indicated. Shoulda been one guy in his face and another behind taking out his legs with a night stick.

    • avatarCliff H says:

      “The Academy runs nothing that approaches what the Military does in terms of officers working together to a common goal. Where is the command, control and communications? Non-existent.”

      Thank goodness. Heaven preserve us from an efficient and military-style trained big-city police force working toward a common goal! I think we got a small glimpse of what police departments do with “command, control and communications” in Boston not too long ago. These sorts of incidents give us hope that in the event it became necessary even a moderately regulated militia could rule the field against them. Self-preservation is their watchword, LIBERTY preservation is (or should be) ours.

  16. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    I have a s&w 5943 and 3953 and 4553 (all DAO) and 4506 (DA/SA). Don’t want to hear the bs re heavy trigger pull. It is about practice

  17. avatarpeirsonb says:

    It JUST hit me….THIS is why cities are pushing the shelter in place strategy…..

  18. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Citizens should be armed. Government employees, most especially cops, should be barred from touching weapons.

    “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
    — George Mason,

    We need to change that “few” to “all”.

  19. avatarwatchmenlewis says:

    again im better trained then these fools and im minimal

    • avatarSteveInCO says:

      Had I been in the crowd, I’d probably have yelled, “Better do what he says, those clowns shoot worse than any armed “civilian” I know.”

      • avatarJus Bill says:

        They would have kettled you and a bunch of innocent people then, and some lunatic white shirt from Staten Island would have maced you all.

  20. avatarRalph says:

    Police said the man “made movements suggesting he had a weapon.” I think that means that the poor bastard was scratching his b@lls, which is grounds for being shot in NYC only because the Mayor doesn’t have any.

  21. avatarloblow says:

    Those cops better hope the bystanders aren’t white; otherwise, there may be repercussions.

  22. avatarSteve says:

    How about that cop making a full speed faceplant into the side of a car at 0:30? Ouch.

    As a Paramedic, glad I wasn’t on that call. Injured cop, shooting victims, and a guy in excited delirium. Yeah..no.

  23. avatartdiinva says:

    NYC officials are under the illusion that if they encourage their officers to practice more they will become “trigger happy.” Like everything about guns that comes out of NYC it is a$$-backwards. A trained officer develops a familiarity and confidence in his weapon that allows him to be more judicious when he uses it. If he knows he can hit what he aims at he will be less likely to unload an entire magazine in the general direction of the perceived threat. The reason that most regular concealed carriers are better with a gun than the average NYPD officer is that we have developed our skills and have confidence in our weapons so we will generally hit would aim at and the stop the threat after a few rounds.

    It would also help if we applied the same criteria for responsibility on the civilian police that the military applies to its security personnel. If your negligence results in injury or death to an innocent you go to jail. If the cops want to think of themselves as military then they should be subject to UMCJ-like rules.

  24. avatarTaylor Tx says:

    Sure seems like the image before I click play is WAY MORE high res than the actual video. So if one cop draws his gun, any in sight draw also?

    Then again, if you lived in NYC and were aware the NYPD cant shoot, would you still be standing around videoing the even?

  25. avatarFug says:

    Shooting at someone before tasering them is like voting for it before you vote against it. Just crazy.

    I agree that the NYPD want to be tough guys, but I think the heavy triggers must have an impact on accuracy.

    That kind of trigger on a Glock can’t be smooth like the trigger on my DAO S&W 642, it is just a bad policy. Change the guns and give them remedial marksmanship lessons.

  26. avatarLongPurple says:

    I recall a conversation I had with a friend on the NYCPD (one LEO who most certainly does know how to shoot) about the Bernie Goetz subway self-defense incident. I told him my first thought was that the shooter might have been an off-duty cop who didn’t want to bother filling out the paperwork.
    He told me that he had the same suspicion, but then realized that if it was a typical NYC cop, the most likely outcome would have been two or three innocent bystanders shot, the cop shooting himself in the foot, and the perps getting away without a scratch.

  27. avatarpc says:

    Nobody is asking the important question: Was the man’s finger loaded?

    Another example of police shooting innocent people this weekend:
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/15/justice/north-carolina-police-shooting/index.html

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      Note to self, even if you’re short an arm and a leg following a car crash, sit where you are and wait or some unconcerned asswipe to call you in as an eyesore on the road.

      Also, way o go, b¡ch; how downright neighborly and charitable.

      Shouldda stayen south of the damned equator.

  28. avatarg says:

    That’s a lot of cops for one dude… but I guess when you go crazy in Times Square, that’s what happens…

  29. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    What scares me is that such occurrences are expected, even accepted.

    We all know that it stinks, but deep down we feel that it’s somewhat like violent weather, just a part of the human condition.

    New York is a ringed tree, unaware of its own doom.

  30. avatarFrank Masotti says:

    And we are supposed to trust the police?

  31. avatarSteve says:

    their triggers are awful. They are 12 lbs. I still cant believe when i switch from my duty m&p and use a mass complaint one how awful the trigger pull is.

  32. avatarMartin B says:

    Well, here in New Zealand, about 90% of males have or currently still do, play rugby. A good rugby tackle would have taken this guy at the knees, and two or three others could have piled on top to stifle his @ss, no matter how hyped up on go juice he was. No police would need to be involved. Trouble is, the only time a considerable number of young males are out on the streets, they are probably drunk as skunks, and trolling for drunk girls. Second thought, the drunk girls could probably have handled this better than NYC’s “finest”.

  33. avatarWill says:

    According to The Wall Street Journal

    The guy had a criminal record, was trying to commit suicide, and had cocaine on his person when they finally took him down (a sergeant did it) with a taser. The victims were NYC locals (one lived nearby.) ALLEGEDLY, according to the WSJ, witnesses said he touched the cops, just before the three whole shots were fired. The first paragraph said the cops shot him.

  34. avatarC says:

    This will just happen more the tighter gun laws get in these places. The first time a recruit has ever been in the same room with a gun will likely be when he’s in the academy. So unless he is motivated to get to the range way more than the minimum to qualify, to catch up as it were, he’ll never really become proficient.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      And then factor in that weapons training is probably seen as a waste of time (as long as you can meet minimums), and also that admitting a deficiency (like in shooting skill) is probably seen as a sign of weakness…

  35. avatarMark says:

    I had to read this several times, particularly the part about the pointed finger. Can these knuckleheads be that stupid?? Rhetorical question I suppose since it appears that it DID happen. And the people are not professional enough to protect themselves! Unbelievable.

  36. avatarAccur81 says:

    Crappy attitude + Crappy Training = Crappy Outcome.

  37. avatarLouisC says:

    Rather than go on about the triggers, or their training, etc, let’s look at the root cause of the injured bystanders. This wasn’t a “good shoot,” so to speak. If you have bystanders in the foreground or background, you don’t pull the trigger. The NYPD opened fire on an unarmed man, in the middle of a crowded city street, and no one I’ve seen has called the officers out on their judgement, rather than their marksmanship.

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