Drunk NY Cop Shoots Partner, Reporters Film Fatal Shooting, DOJ Meetings in Albuquerque and a Letter to the Editor

New York City: We’ve all heard stories of cops drinking on the job, but a story breaking out of NYC takes the cake. Jay Poggi, a NYPD detective, appears to have been drunk when he shot his partner last week inside their shared squad car. Poggi was arrested following the May 2 shooting in Howard Beach, and he has so far been charged with DUI and placed on paid leave. Prosecutors say he drove his partner, Matthew Sullivan, to the hospital with a blood alcohol content more than double the legal limit. Both Poggi and Sullivan are reported to have been on duty when they consumed as many as 11 beers each at a Brooklyn bar during the hours leading up to Thursday’s shooting. The detectives, according to the New York Post, formally signed out of the 75th Precinct to investigate an unsolved robbery in Queens. At some point, sources said, the duo went drinking at Rockaway Park’s The Wharf Bar & Grill, where they drank for several hours. According to Poggi, his weapon accidentally discharged while he was showing it to Sullivan, who may never walk again.

Spokane: Reporters were on the scene of a police standoff last week when the situation suddenly deteriorated into what appears to be a suicide-by-cop, resulting in the death of a homicide suspect. The man was shot after driving a truck through a police barricade and pointing a weapon at nearby police. His identity has not been released. Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told local television station KXLY that police had been looking for the suspect for several hours and called the shooting “justified.” It was the third time this year Spokane officers have shot and killed a civilian.

Albuquerque: series of public meetings took place in Albuquerque late last week following a bruising federal investigation into the city’s police force. The meetings, moderated by federal law enforcement officials from the Department of Justice, were aimed at assuring the public that the Albuquerque Police Department had been cleaned up and new regulations regarding use of force put in place. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the DOJ to Albuquerque after a rash of fatal shootings claimed the lives of more than two dozen civilians in less than four years. In all, officers have shot 40 people since 2010. The Department of Justice’s investigation, which online news sources stationed in the city say was summed up in a letter to Mayor, cited a “pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

Seattle: May Day protests, which have been plagued by violence in recent years, remained largely peaceful last week, but cops used pepper spray and made several arrests early Friday morning after protestors began throwing rocks, bottles and bricks. Garbage cans in the city’s Capital Hill neighborhood were also set on fire, and some walls and windows were spray painted with anti-government and anti-police tags. Most of those arrested were described by police as anarchists, many of whom wore masks to hide their identity and filter tear gas. Seattle cops said they were prepared for this year’s May Day protests after noticing an uptick in online rhetoric against deportations and worker wages. 

What’s more horrifying, police brutality or drugs?

I was curious while reading The News article about six Buffalo police officers being investigated for brutality. The mother of the 22-year-old victim said she was horrified and unable to describe the pain she felt while watching the YouTube video of the alleged incident.

Was the victim’s mother more horrified at the fact that her son was allegedly the victim of police brutality or that he was allegedly found to be in possession of heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana, with the intent to sell?

Mark DiPirro

Lancaster

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