When did the motto of the New York Police Department become, “to protect and serve cocktails?”
Two NYPD officers were arrested in separate incidents yesterday involving drunken shootings. These incidents following a shooting a week ago where an under-the-influence detective put a bullet in his partner.
Two drunken NYPD cops fired their guns in separate, off-duty incidents, one of which involved an officer emptying his handgun — firing 13 rounds — at a man inside a nearby car, hitting him six times, police sources said Wednesday.
Both cops were arrested. The lawman who fired a baker’s dozen, Officer Brendan Cronin, who is assigned to the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, was behind the wheel in Pelham, Westchester County, late Tuesday night when he unloaded on a 47-year-old man who was a passenger in a car that was idling in front of him, Pelham Police Chief Joseph Benefico said.
Cronin was apparently so intoxicated he later claimed he “doesn’t remember what happened,” a police source said.
About three hours later, outside a strip club in Somerset County, N.J., NYPD Sgt. Wanda Anthony, assigned to the 122nd Precinct in Staten Island, fired at least one round at a former boyfriend and his new squeeze, law enforcement sources said. No one was hit. Anthony, who fled in a car, was pulled over and charged with driving while intoxicated following the 3 a.m. incident by the Watchung Police Dept.
The back-to-back off-duty shootings followed an incident Thursday in which off-duty Det. Jay Poggi shot his partner through the wrist after each had downed at least 11 drinks in the Rockaways. “I personally am very disturbed about a number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a long-term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol by members of the department,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said .
You know what is particularly sad about these incidents? The officers involved were actually better shots while three hammered than their fellow officers have proven to be while sober in recent years.
In an incident in August of 2012 two officers injured nine bystanders while killing a gunman who had just murdered a former co-worker.
In December of 2013, officers fired upon an unarmed mentally disturbed man and injured two tourists, then had the gall to charge him for assault due to the injuries caused by the shots they fired.
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I’ve made arguments for several years that the population density of New York, combined with the minimal firearms training of the New York City Police Department, is a recipe for on-going tragedy. Locally-recruited officers who never learned to fire handguns before joining the police academy get very basic training on how to shoot, training that doesn’t come close to the standards or round count of many civilian shooting schools. They’re then required to qualify on “gimme” fixed targets where a passing grade is a given for mediocre results. It’s actually something of a minor miracle that NYPD officers don’t shoot a lot more innocent bystanders than they do, given a level of training that, in my opinion, borders upon negligence.