Special Prosecutor Asked In Double-Parking Slaying
NEW YORK (AP) _ A white off-duty police officer was suspended after killing a black man in a dispute over the officer’s double-parked car, and a group of elected officials and clergy called for a special prosecutor in the case.
″I wonder what would have happened if black officers had killed an Italian grandmother in an Italian neighborhood, or if African-American police officers killed a Jewish boy in a Jewish neighborhood, or beat an Irish-American to death in an Irish neighborhood,″ the Rev. Herbert Daughtry said Friday.
Stephen Kelley, 62, was shot to death Monday by Officer Radames Ortiz, 24, authorities said.
The altercation started when Kelley honked his horn at Ortiz’s car, which was double-parked and blocking Kelley’s van outside his apartment building in Brooklyn, witnesses told police.
One of Kelley’s sons, Stuart, 25, said he heard shots and ran outside, and that Ortiz told him: ″You better watch it or I’ll shoot you, too.″
Ortiz was suspended Tuesday without pay and police say a grand jury is considering criminal charges against him. His sister, Nancy Silvestri, who also is a police officer, was with him and was relieved of her gun and given modified duty, authorities said.
Daughtry was joined at a news conference at the House of the Lord Church in downtown Brooklyn by state Rep. Major Owens and Assemblyman Roger Green.
A spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman said a special prosecutor wasn’t needed because a bureau already has been established to investigate alleged misuse of force by police officers, the Law Enforcement Investigations Bureau.
The spokesman, Glenn Goldberg, promised ″a full, fair and professional investigation.″