Friendly-Fire Officer Won't Be Indicted

The event stirred calls for more diversity

Thursday, Aug 13, 2009  |  Updated 7:09 PM EDT
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Friendly-Fire Officer Won't Be Indicted

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NYPD officers stand lined-up as the hearse carrying the body of fellow officer Omar Edwards arrives for the funeral.

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A Manhattan grand jury today refused to indict a police officer of any criminal charges after he mistakenly shot and killed an off-duty cop in East Harlem.

Andrew Dunton, 30, a rookie white cop assigned to the 25th Precinct station, shot Officer Omar Edwards, who was black, after he spotted him chasing a suspect with his gun drawn on the night of May 30.

Edwards, 25, was in plain clothes and just blocks from the Harlem police station where he worked when he drew his gun to pursue a man who had broken into his car. Three plainclothes officers on routine patrol arrived at the scene and yelled for the two to stop, police said. One officer, Andrew Dunton, opened fire and hit Edwards three times as he turned toward them with his service weapon. 

The event stirred calls for more diversity in the upper ranks of the NYPD.

Shortly after the shooting, Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the police department, said the NYPD was immediately scrapping scheduled training on courtroom testimony and replacing it with “confrontation training." 

As of last month, a majority of the rank-and-file officers were members of minority groups, the department said. Among officers, 28.7 percent were Hispanic; 18 percent black; 5.4 percent Asian; and 47.8 percent white, The New York Times reported.

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