Group wants law on books to stop police friendly fire
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers publicly asked Gov. David Paterson Wednesday to get a law on the books to protect plainclothes cops from friendly fire.
The group wants statewide training for officers to prevent future tragedies. The organization believes weapons training should involve sensitivity as well as marksmanship and that officers should only intervene with deadly force when an immediate threat to life is present.
The organization also believes officers should be trained on how to interact with communities and to loudly announce their presence when they encounter a potentially armed suspect.
The renewed call for uniform training comes after a panel made recommendations following the death of Detective Christopher Ridley. Four Westchester County cops fatally shot the plainclothes, off-duty detective as he tried to beak up a fight in January.
National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers officials say mistaken identity has cost both white and black officers their lives.
"It is only when we understand and openly discuss the failures of the system that we can begin to concentrate on its strengths and make it more effective and productive for all," says Lt. Charles Wilson, of the group.