The New York State Attorney General’s Office will reportedly not be heading up an investigation into the death of a man in Westchester during a police-involved shooting over the weekend.
Two uniformed police officers from the New Rochelle Police Department stopped a black Dodge sedan shortly before 11 p.m. on Friday, June 5, for a traffic violation near the intersection of Potter Avenue and Pierce Street.
Once the vehicle stopped, one of the passengers exited the vehicle, taking off on foot, New Rochelle Police Capt. Cosmo Costa said.
Following a brief pursuit, one of the officers fired his taser, a struggle ensued, and the man, New Rochelle resident Kamal Flowers, who was out of jail on parole, displayed a handgun, pointing it at one of the officers while attempting to fire.
An officer took out his service weapon, shooting Flowers once. Flowers was treated at the scene and died on his way to the hospital.
Following the shooting, there was a call for an outside investigation, but according to multiple reports, Attorney General Letitia James will not be investigating Flowers’ death as it falls outside her office's jurisdiction. The case is being investigated by the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.
According to an Executive Order signed by Andrew Cuomo four years ago, the state's Attorney General is appointed as a special investigator when police shoot an unarmed civilian. It does not include cases where the subject is armed.
"It is clear that the Attorney General understood that her jurisdiction was limited to the shooting deaths of unarmed civilians," the New Rochelle PBA President Chris Greco said. "Since the incontrovertible evidence related to this incident establishes that Mr. Flowers was armed with a deadly weapon, the Attorney General rightfully declined to further investigate this matter."
The fatal shooting is still being investigated by the New Rochelle Police Department and Westchester County District Attorney's office, according to a statement released following the shooting.
“No one in the New Rochelle PBA celebrates the loss of any life. Yet we are grateful for the extraordinary bravery demonstrated by our fellow officers who pursued a suspect armed with a deadly weapon in an exceptional effort to keep the streets of this community safe,” the PBA said in a statement.
“The statement issued by the New Rochelle Police Department indicates that Mr. Flowers pointed an illegal handgun – which was recovered at the scene along with several rounds of ammunition - at our fellow officer and tried to kill him with it. We are supremely grateful that our brother survived this life-threatening encounter.”
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