Police union boss slams Manhattan D.A. for enabling murder

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg came into office promising to go light on criminals; actually telling prosecutors to avoid seeking prison sentences for many criminal defendants, including those charged with armed robbery. After a very vocal backlash, Bragg supposedly reversed course, but not everyone’s buying the alleged change of heart.

On Tuesday, Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo slammed Bragg and his office over the murder of 31-year old Kenneth Williams, allegedly at the hands of his friend Tyrell Rodgers earlier this month.

A man in New York City was charged with murder Thursday after he shot and killed the friend of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, New York Daily News reports.

The incident occurred Tuesday night when Tyrell Rodgers, 28, allegedly opened fire in the direction of her ex-boyfriend, striking him in the right arm. However, it was his friend, 31-year-old Kenneth Williams, who was hit in the abdomen. Both men were rushed to a nearby hospital where the ex-boyfriend was in stable condition, but Williams was pronounced dead.

Rodgers is no stranger to law enforcement. The 28-year old has 23 arrests to his name, but was also the suspect in a robbery last month when he allegedly pointed a gun at his ex-girlfriend and stole her cellphone. The woman reported what happened to police, and according to DiGiacomo detectives sought approval for a search warrant for the gun that Rodgers was reported to have in his possession; approval that never came.

Detectives requested a warrant to look for the handgun after the robbery was reported on Feb. 17.DiGiacomo said the warrant never materialized.

Two and a half weeks later, Rodgers brought the gun to West 19th Street and Ninth Avenue around 10 p.m. to meet a man he had been arguing with over the phone, court records show.

It wasn’t clear what the argument was about, but Rodgers fired the weapon and a bullet struck the man he had argued with in the right arm, records show. The man’s friend standing at his side was shot in the gut and pronounced dead about an hour later at Bellevue Hospital.

Rodgers was arrested two days later on March 10 — the day the warrant was finally executed by Bragg’s office.

Detectives searched Rodger’s apartment at 321 East 153rd Street and quickly confiscated the gun that video surveillance had showed him firing, records show.It matched the description of the gun the girlfriend told detective Rodgers used to threaten her.

“Inside the apartment, I recovered a dark hooded jacket, dark mask and dark colored backpack that appear to be consistent with the type of clothing the shooter wore on video,” the detective wrote in court documents. “Inside of the dark backpack inside of a fanny pack I recovered a silver revolver.”

So far Bragg’s office hasn’t explained why it didn’t act on the detectives’ request for almost a month after the search warrant application was filed; probably because there isn’t going to be a reason that sits well with most New Yorkers, especially with crime continuing to get worse in the Big Apple.

With a D.A. that seems to care more about keeping people out of prison than ensuring violent offenders face consequences for their crimes and a mayor intent on targeting guns instead of the individuals actually responsible for the city’s violence, the Supreme Court’s pending decision in the Bruen case can’t come soon enough. I’m sure that the city is going to continue to do everything it can to prevent law-abiding New Yorkers from exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense, but I’m hopeful that the Court’s decision will be strong enough to knock down the roadblocks that New York has placed between citizens and their Second Amendment rights.