Family of slain cop joins forces with Rev. Sharpton

The family of a slain Mount Vernon cop has joined forces with the Rev. Al Sharpton in an attempt to get an independent probe into the case.

Christopher Ridley was killed on Jan. 25 in While Plains while intervening in a street fight. Ridley was off-duty at the time, and allegedly pulled his gun. When four Westchester County police officers responded to the fight, they say Ridley failed to identify himself as a cop, and allegedly shot him when he wouldn?t put down his gun.

A Westchester grand jury cleared the officers of any wrongdoing. Now, the Ridley family wants state and federal authorities to investigate their son?s death as part of a larger investigation into police shootings involving black victims, to determine if racial bias is a factor.

?I just think we?re finally on the road to this not ever happening again,? the victim?s father, Stanley Ridley, said.

Sharpton and his civil rights organization held a meeting Friday with Stanley Ridley and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in attendance. The meeting took place in Manhattan. According to Sharpton, what happened to Ridley was more than a misunderstanding.

?There?s no question something went wrong,? he said. ?There?s no question he did the right thing. Then why can?t the system protect and give justice to his family??

Sharpton wants Cuomo to appoint a special prosecutor, adding the Ridley case to his group?s fight against aggressive police force following the Sean Bell case. Bell was killed by police bullets in new York City, and three NYPD officers involved were found not guilty.

Stanley Ridley said he was encouraged by Cuomo?s response to his concerns?Cuomo apparently told the group that he would consider forming a statewide panel to study aggressive police force.

Sharpton held protests in New York City last week in connection with the Sean Bell case, during which Stanley Ridley was arrested. Sharpton tells News 12 Westchester that it will be up to Ridley?s family to decide if similar protests will be held for Christopher.

For footage of activists and Ridley?s family meeting with the attorney general, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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