A mentally ill man who was shot at by police near Times Square has been charged with assault for wounding bystanders who were actually shot by New York police officers. An indictment reveals that the man is being charged based on the idea that he triggered the incident which ended with NYPD officers shooting innocent bystanders.
The incident occurred in September when the disturbed man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, began “lurching”, according to the New York Times, causing a crowd to gather at the scene. When police arrived and tried to gain control of Broadnax, he reached into his pocket, triggering police to react to what they thought was a gun. Police opened fire. Although the police shooters missed Broadnax, they did shoot two bystanders. Boradnax was finally taken down by a taser.
Now Broadnax, who didn’t have a gun and didn’t shoot anyone, is being charged with assault, according to the Times:
Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr. Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”
So now “lurching” in a crowded place or reaching in one’s pocket is considered an act which creates a “grave risk of death”?
“The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” asserted assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.
But attorneys for Mr. Broadnax say the man, who was suffering from depression and anxiety, was disoriented and only reaching for his wallet. Since when does reaching for one’s wallet warrant being shot at by keystone cops with bad aim?
Once he arrived at a hospital after the incident, Mr. Broadnax told a detective that “he was talking to dead relatives in his head and that he tried throwing himself in front of cars to kill himself.”