Manhattan Officer Charged With Manslaughter

by TChris

Officer Bryan Conroy has been charged with manslaughter for shooting an unarmed African immigrant, Ousmane Zongo, to death. Conroy was guarding a locker full of counterfeit compact discs inside the Chelsea Mini-Storage when he saw Zongo.

Zongo, who did not speak English, had no criminal record and was not involved with the counterfeit ring, got scared and tried to flee, police said. Conroy pursued him and in a scuffle fired four shots at close range.

Conroy, who was in plain clothes, says he pulled his gun on an unarmed man to identify himself as a police officer. Pulling out a badge would have been more effective and less threatening. According to Conroy, Zongo thought Conroy was trying to rob him, so Zongo lunged for the gun. Conroy says he had no choice but to shoot Conroy. Four times.

Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, predictably complained that the grand jury made a "mistake." If it made a mistake, it was in indicting Conroy for the less serious offense of manslaughter rather than second degree murder, the charge reportedly pursued by the district attorney's office.

As TalkLeft reported yesterday, a 12-year-old who lacks the maturity to exercise sound judgment is facing a life sentence for murder. In this case, a police officer whose failure to exercise sound judgment resulted in a needless death might get probation. Does this make sense to anyone?

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