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Police’s Role Death Investigated

December 28, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Brooklyn prosecutor’s office and police Internal Affairs officials are investigating the subway death of a high school teacher after he was involved in a bar altercation with six undercover narcotics detectives, police said Sunday.

A police spokeswoman said the case was ``under active investigation″ but declined to provide any details.

News reports said the six detectives had been placed on modified duty, with their guns and shields confiscated, while the case is investigated.

The reports said Reginald Bannerman, 35, a Brooklyn high school teacher, was killed by a subway train on Dec. 19, just hours after he was involved in a dispute at a Crown Heights restaurant where the officers had attended a birthday party.

His death was ruled a suicide, but investigators stepped in after relatives of the victim, quoting witnesses, said the fight involved the officers and continued at the subway station, and that Bannerman was trying to evade the detectives when he ran onto the tracks and was hit by a Manhattan-bound No. 2 train.

The New York Times quoted officials as saying shots were fired during the incident at the restaurant. It said the six officers were placed on modified duty on Christmas Eve for failing to report their involvement.

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