Shoot to hurt, pol urges cops
Daily News Exclusive
BY JOE MAHONEY
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
ALBANY - Sen. David Paterson is pushing a bill that would require cops to shoot to wound, rather than using deadly force - drawing outrage from officers.
The bill also would create a new provision for second-degree manslaughter that would be reserved specifically for an officer who "uses more than the minimal amount necessary" to stop a crime suspect.
Paterson, who is on Eliot Spitzer's ticket as lieutenant governor, has reintroduced the bill twice since first sponsoring it in 2001, refusing to let it die.
In a memo urging its passage, Paterson wrote: "There is no justification for terminating another's life when a less extreme measure may accomplish the same objective."
Current law gives cops a wide berth to use deadly force when a suspect presents a danger to another person's life.
Paterson (D-Harlem) wrote that a police officer, under his legislation, "would have to try toshoot a suspect in the arm or the leg."
"This bill shows absolutely no understanding of just how difficult it is for a police officer when they get into situations requiring the use of deadly force," John Grebert, director of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, told the Daily News.
His sentiment was echoed by Dan DeFedericis, president of the New York State Troopers PBA, who said: "We are definitely opposed to this bill ... and we strongly believe it could endanger the lives of police officers and innocent civilians."
While Spitzer already has the endorsement of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, that group's Albany lobbyist, John Poklemba, said, "This bill is very ill conceived. I can't imagine any police agencies not being opposed to it."
Paterson told The News last night that his bill would safeguard the public. He explained that he wrote the bill in response to the acquittal of four NYPD officers charged in the 1999 shooting death of the unarmed Amadou Diallo in the Bronx.
"Many people were surprised the officers weren't guilty of something, criminally negligent homicide or something that involved some negligence," he said. "I thought I was writing the bill that really mirrored what the department rules are."
A Spitzer spokesman declined to comment.
Originally published on February 23, 2006
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