A Recent History of NYPD Brutality

Timothy Stansbury

Date: January 2004

Unarmed 19-year-old Timothy Stansbury was shot and killed by Officer Richard S. Neri Jr. as Neri and his partner were patrolling a Bedford-Stuyvesant rooftop. With his gun drawn, Officer Neri approached a rooftop door to check the stairwell. He would later tell a grand jury that he unintentionally fired his weapon when he was startled by Stansbury opening the door. Stansbury, who lived in the adjoining building, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Commissioner Ray Kelly initially said, "At this point, based on the facts we have gathered, there appears to be no justification for the shooting...This is a tragic incident that compels us to take an in-depth look at our tactics and training, both for new and veteran officers." This response from the NYPD was strangely straight-forward, a marked change from from past incidents. Less than a week after the shooting, a grand jury gathered on the day of Stansbury's funeral and on February 17, it elected not to indict Officer Neri on charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter; they instead ruled that the shooting was accidental.

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