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New York, NY - 'Elite' NYPD Unit Keeps Firing Guns Accidentally

Published on: February 1, 2011 05:28 PM
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New York, NY - In an embarrassing series of mistakes, cops from the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit shot off three stray rounds in three months - including one in Rockefeller Center.

A member of the ESU sniper team safeguarding the tree-lighting center at the tourist magnet accidentally let loose a rifle round on Nov. 30.

It happened about 90 minutes after the ceremony, as the sniper teams were pulling out. The round hit a building and was found a block and a half away.

Four days earlier, an ESU detective getting out of his vehicle to respond to a report of a barricaded gunman accidentally fired a shotgun in Harlem.

The blast went through an apartment window on W. 136th St. As in the Rockefeller Center incident, no one was injured.

In the latest incident, a 76-year-old man was shot in the stomach during a Jan. 22 drug raid in the Bronx.

ESU cops were trying to arrest Alberto Colon, 41, when a detective trying to activate the flashlight on his weapon accidentally fired it, hitting the suspect’s father.

The NYPD has reviewed all the firings and found that none of the weapons malfunctioned, said Chief Charles Kammerdener, head of the Special Operations Division.

The ESU discharges represent a small percentage of accidental firings in the NYPD.

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There were 23 department-wide in 2009, only one of which involved a member of ESU. Last year there were 23 accidental discharges, including the two ESU incidents in November.

ESU officers, who pride themselves on their ability to pull off difficult raids and rescues, say the three incidents were the result of a cut in weapons training - specifically a week-long shooting exercise at Camp Smith or Fort Dix.

As a result of the Rockefeller Center mishap, sharpshooter training has been revised to highlight the weapon’s safety position, officials said.

Police brass said ESU training has not taken a hit.

“ESU has never received more training that it has now, because of the terrorist incidents around the world and the fact that they are the front line of an NYPD response,” Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said.

“So to try to make such a connection is disingenuous.”


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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 01, 2011 at 05:50 PM expert Says:

Guns are far too dangerous. Disarm the cops. Let them be as defenseless as the rest of us.

2

 Feb 02, 2011 at 04:33 AM Chaim_Ben-Yehuda Says:

Reply to #1  
expert Says:

Guns are far too dangerous. Disarm the cops. Let them be as defenseless as the rest of us.

The vast majority of the police forces in Britain have always managed without guns and they seem to operate perfectly well.

Americans are totally hung up on their "right to bear arms" - a phenomenon fostered by the arms industry, which makes lots and lots of money from it.

3

 Feb 02, 2011 at 08:34 AM ALLAN Says:

#'s 1 and 2 if this is sarcasm then ok, but if you are for real then you can't possibly be serious.

4

 Feb 02, 2011 at 09:30 AM PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

Reply to #2  
Chaim_Ben-Yehuda Says:

The vast majority of the police forces in Britain have always managed without guns and they seem to operate perfectly well.

Americans are totally hung up on their "right to bear arms" - a phenomenon fostered by the arms industry, which makes lots and lots of money from it.

Maybe once upon a time cops in Britain didn't have guns, but every picture I see these days of the cops there, they're loaded up like it's the wild west, you know why, mamalle? CUZ IT IS!
As for our rights in this country, we take them seriously, which is why we sent king George packin'.

5

 Feb 02, 2011 at 11:53 AM raykaufm Says:

What does "FrumCop" have to say about this? Calling these incidents "accidental discharges" is incorrect. They are the result of negligent handling and operation of a firearm and are correctly refered to as "negligent discharges".

6

 Feb 02, 2011 at 12:43 PM The_Truth Says:

Actually, In Britain, the regular cops do not carry guns but they do have special gun units (prob a bit like NYPD ESU), and they are constantly deployed in high security areas like in airports.
They also have accidental firing of weapons there too, but because only the special units carry weapons, so they get all the blame. Which is why they are controversial there and try to keep below the media radar.

7

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