Times Square in New York City
An unarmed, mentally unwell New York man has been charged with
assault in an incident where police officers shot two innocent
bystanders near Times Square. Police argue that the Brooklyn resident
instigated the incident, so he is at fault for the injuries.
Glenn Broadnax, 35, walked into traffic at the intersection of 42nd
Street and Eighth Avenue on Sept. 14 and jumped into the path of
approaching cars, the New York Times reports.
As a crowd gathered around Broadnax, police officers made an attempt to
detain him, but due to his 250-pound size, they could not.
Broadnax then reached into his coat pocket, and nearby NYPD officers
assumed he was reaching for a gun. The two officers then opened fire but
missed Broadnax and hit two women standing near the scene. Broadnax was
then incapacitated by a police sergeant with a Taser. It was later
found that Broadnax did not have a gun on his person and was only
reaching for his wallet.
After the incident, Broadnax was arrested on the misdemeanor charges
of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. The Manhattan
district attorney, however, argued to a grand jury that Broadnax was
legally responsible for the shots fired by NYPD officers that hit the
The grand jury agreed and formally charged Broadnax with nine counts
of felony assault, claiming in a court document released Wednesday that
Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey explained further that
because Broadnax had made a scene originally, he is responsible for the
NYPD officers shooting bystanders.
“The defendant is the one who created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” Lucey told the New York Times.
Broadnax’s lawyer, Rigodis Appling, disagreed, claiming that Broadnax
was emotionally disturbed at the time but posed no danger to other
people. Appling said Broadnax suffers from anxiety and depression, and
Court documents back this up, as Broadnax reportedly told a detective
at Bellevue Hospital Center that “he was talking to dead relatives in
his head and that he tried throwing himself in front of cars to kill
Marianne Wang, representing wounded bystander Sahar Khoshakhlagh,
agrees that Broadnax is not at fault and argues that the police officers
should be the ones on trial.
“It’s an incredibly unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be
prosecuting a man who didn’t even injure my client,” she said. “It’s
the police who injured my client.”
Despite Broadnax’s history of mental disorders, a court-ordered
psychiatrist evaluation found him mentally fit to stand trial. His bail
has been set at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash.
Meanwhile, the two unidentified officers have been placed on
administrative leave while they are investigated by the district
attorney’s office. They will also undergo an internal affairs
Edited by blaquefoxx - Dec 06 2013 at 6:23pm