Alleged Getaway Driver in Figoski Slay Acquitted on Burglary Charges

Michael Velez was found not guilty two days after the triggerman Lamont Pride was convicted of second-degree murder

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Thursday, Feb 14, 2013  |  Updated 9:19 AM EDT
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Accused Cop Shooter Was Let Go After Arrest

Handout/NBCNewYork

Peter Figoski, a 22-year NYPD veteran (inset right), was shot and killed with an illegal semi-automatic weapon (inset left) while responding to a robbery in Brooklyn early Monday.

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The man who drove the getaway car in a botched robbery that left an NYPD officer dead was acquitted of burglary charges on Wednesday.

Michael Velez was found not guilty of burglary two days after a jury found triggerman Lamont Pride guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Officer Peter Figoski, who was gunned down when he responded to a burglary call in East New York in 2011.  

Velez testified in his own defense, saying that he thought he was just giving Pride and three other men a ride. Pride was acquitted of the most serious charge, first-degree murder, but faces 25 years to life in prison.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly decried the verdict.

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Trial of Accused Brooklyn Cop Killer Begins

The trial has begun for Lamont Pride, accused of shooting Officer Peter Figoski in the face in 2011; the officer died at the hospital hours later. Tracie Strahan reports.

EXCLUSIVE: Accused Cop Killer Speaks

News 4's I-Team has obtained a videotape in which Lamont Pride confesses to firing the bullet that struck NYPD Officer Peter Figoski point-blank in the face. His attorney declined to comment. Jonathan Dienst reports. This story was published Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.
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"When juries fail to comprehend the monstrous scale of a police officer’s murder, they fail society itself," Kelly said in a statement. "God help us if other gunmen and  their getaway drivers take comfort in these verdicts because when a police officer is murdered society at-large is struck a mortal blow. It’s shameful that the family of Peter Figoski must be crushed again by another incomprehensible verdict.”

Figoski, a 22-year veteran of the NYPD and father of four daughters, confronted Pride outside of a residence in East New York in December 2011. Pride shot Figoski in the face; the officer died at the hospital hours later.

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