NYPD Shoots Bystanders, Original Target Charged With Assault

Friday, 06 Dec 2013 03:17 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Two bystanders in Times Square were accidentally shot by the NYPD when the police aimed for an emotionally disturbed man as he stumbled near traffic on Times Square in September, and now that man has been charged with assault.

Glenn Broadnax, who was unarmed during the incident, was charged “on the theory” that it was his actions that caused NYPD offiders to shoot, resulting in two victims being wounded, The New York Times reported.

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When police arrived at the scene in September, Broadnax was apparently walking into traffic and police couldn’t stop the 250-pound man. Broadnax reached into his clothes and police officers opened fire because they thought he was going for a gun, the Times said. Two women standing nearby were hit.

Although initially charged with menacing, drug possession, and resisting arrest, the Manhattan district attorney’s office talked to a grand jury to charge Broadnax with assault. The indictment, which was unsealed this week, said he “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”

“The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” an assistant district attorney told the Times.

Broadnax’s attorney, Rigodis Appling, told the Times that his client has anxiety and depression. She said he was getting his wallet out of his pocket and “never imagined his behavior would ever cause the police to shoot at him.”

Broadnax’s bail was set at $100,000 bond.

The situation brought to light concerns from the public about police shooting into crowds of people.

In 2012, police got into a firefight with a gunman near the Empire State Building and nine people were injured. Although officials defended the police actions then, some questioned whether they should fire on crowded streets.

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