Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Buck Stops Where?

Yesterday morning, a New York City police officer, Peter Figoski, was killed in the line of duty as he responded to a burglary in Queens. The alleged cop-killer, Lamont Pride, is in custody after Figoski's partner ran down Pride as he tried to escape. Pride's accomplice in the burglary has been captured, and several others are now under arrest in connection with the murder:
The accomplice who fled from cops after his low-life pal shot and killed Officer Peter Figoski has been caught, police said Tuesday.

Three other suspects were also taken into custody overnight — two neighbors who live across the street and the alleged getaway driver.

The accomplice was arrested at 2 a.m. and will be charged with murder in the slaying of Figoski, a decorated 22-year NYPD veteran and father of four daughters, officials said.

Police were responding to a robbery in progress in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn at 2:15 a.m. Monday when one of the bandits shot Figoski.

The accomplice, who had been grappling with Figoski’s partner, Officer Glenn Estrada, ran off when Estrada made the split-second decision to chase the man who had just killed his partner. Estrada pursued and captured the alleged gunman, Lamont Pride, 27, several blocks away.

Police said they were initially looking for just the escaped accomplice but quickly realized more people were involved.

Sources said cops became suspicious of the story told by two “concerned neighbors” living across the street.

The pair were very quick to describe the guns used in the robbery at the Pine St. home.

"We were suspicious of them. We kept them and questioned them," a source told the Daily News.

The two neighbors are expected to be charged with murder. It is unclear what charges the getaway driver will face.
The real question though is why Pride was ever on the street to be in a position to carry out a burglary, let alone be in a position to murder a New York cop.

Pride has been arrested numerous times in connection with various criminal acts, including an attempted murder charge in North Carolina, and several crimes in New York City.

Did his case fall through the cracks? That's what various people connected with the New York and North Carolina justice systems want to believe, but someone has to be held responsible for the failure to incarcerate Pride.

Pride has been arrested twice since September in New York, and that's after being wanted on attempted murder charges in North Carolina. Each time, Pride was able to avoid incarceration and extradition to North Carolina.
“We ran him and found he was wanted in [North Carolina\] on weapon assault charges, but the warrant specified ‘extradite within the State of North Carolina only,’ ” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

The NYPD contacted North Carolina authorities twice to press them to change the warrant, but they refused, sources said.

At Pride’s Nov. 4 arraignment, prosecutor Evan Degrees asked bail be set at $2,500. But Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Evelyn LaPorte released him on his own recognizance, records show.
The warrant for the North Carolina crimes didn't contain the extradition orders and North Carolina prosecutors didn't want to go ahead and change the warrant to allow for extradition, and a New York judge was far too lenient considering his lengthy rap sheet. Pride was a one-man crime spree, and yet a New York judge allowed him to be released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors had called for a $2,500 bail.

In the end, Pride is fully responsible for the death of Officer Figoski, but the justice system in both North Carolina and New York failed Figoski, the NYPD, and the public by turning a blind eye to a career criminal and his lengthy felonious rap sheet.

Will anyone hold Evelyn LaPorte responsible for such an egregious miscarriage of justice? Will anyone hold the North Carolina prosecutors? Each had the ability to see to it that Pride remained off the streets while awaiting trial on the attempted murder charges in North Carolina, but now he'll be off the streets indefinitely as a result of the murder charges pending in the death of Officer Figoski.

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