Tapes showing officer's death stir controversy
One day after News 12 Westchester obtained surveillance tapes showing the events that preceded the shooting of Police Officer Christopher Ridley, a Westchester police union leader spoke out in defense of the county officers accused in Ridley's death.
Sgt. Michael Hagan, president of the Westchester County Police Benevolent Association, says the $90 million lawsuit filed by Stanley Ridley, the slain officer's father, is based on a false premise that the single Caucasian officer involved in the incident shot Christopher Ridley in the head, execution-style.
According to Hagan, Ridley, who was off duty on Jan. 25, 2007, apparently refused police requests to drop his gun during the struggle with Anthony Jacobs, a homeless man who attacked a passerby. Jacobs later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison.
"When Christopher Ridley did not comply, they did what they had to do and what they were trained to do, and that was to stop the threat to their lives and the lives of other people," Hagan says.
Damon Jones, head of the Westchester chapter of the National Black Police Association, says the grainy, silent surveillance video that shows the incident is inconclusive.
"After looking at this, you have to go with the witnesses," he says. "There's an old saying that the DA can indict a ham sandwich in the grand jury."
Jones continues to support Stanley Ridley's lawsuit against the four police officers, who have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident. He says the father of the slain cop is entitled to answers.
"He's been patient, he's been quiet for a whole year," Jones says. "They haven't even returned his son's personal belongings yet."
In the meantime, Christopher Ridley's mother, Felita Bouche, spoke out against the lawsuit filed by her ex-husband and his attorney, Jonathan Lovett, reminding everyone that she is the sole administrator of her son's estate.
"In the past few days, it has become less about Chris and more about personal agendas," Bouche said in a statement.