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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Police gun down man in N. Fordham

The NYPD has once again killed a man that even police are not claiming possessed a gun.

NY 1 reports that an officer fatally shot 40-year-old Alex Figueroa around 11:45 pm Tuesday night at 196th Street and Bainbridge Avenue. The NYPD is claiming that Figueroa was wielding a baseball bat and refused to drop it.

Figueroa's wife denies this claim. "No baseball bat," Sandra Rodriguez told NY1. "That's a lie."

The New York Times and Daily News have also reported on this story. The News has some particularly powerful quotes from Rodriguez. Two that stand out:

*"I was standing right next to him when they shot him dead. He had his arms at his side. He was doing nothing."


"My husband was a church-going man. We moved to this country two years ago to pursue the American dream and look what happened to us - look what we get."

Here's my question: For the sake of argument, let's even say that Figueroa did have a baseball bat. How does that justify killing him?

Clearly there are conflicting accounts and details are still emerging, but I think Figueroa's neighbor raises important points when he tells NY 1, "No matter what they could have used bodily force to get him, to grab the bat, grab at him... I think that more men to physically hold instead of having to use their gun so quickly, I think that would have been more appropriate."


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