District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said he'll be able to impartially lead the investigation into last week's fatal police shooting.
"I investigated the last shooting of a black officer by a white officer in Manhattan, indicted the shooter and sent him to prison," Morgenthau said today. "So there should be no doubt the chips will fall where they may (in the current case)."
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and the Rev. Al Sharpton are among the high-profile people calling for a federal investigation, claiming the fatal shooting of Police Officer Omar Edwards is just another case of a white officer shooting a black officer.
Officer Andrew Dunton, who is white, shot and killed Edwards, who was black, after Dunton saw Edwards with his gun drawn chasing a suspect. Dunton was in plainclothes with two other colleagues on routine patrol when they saw Edwards, also in plainclothes, chasing the man who had been rummaging through Edwards' vehicle.
Despite the outcry from Rangel and Sharpton, Gov. Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg have both expressed confidence in the D.A.'s ability to manage the investigation.
Asked at his first news conference since the shooting for a response to those calls for an independent probe, Morgenthau said simply with a grin, "it's a free country."