DA Will Investigate Police Shooting of Pipe-Wielding Man
NEW YORK (AP) _ A grand jury will look into the death of a 27-year-old man who was shot six times by police on a street after allegedly hitting an officer with a lead pipe, a prosecutor said.
Nicholas A. Bartlett, a street vendor and father of two young children, died two hours after Saturday night’s confrontation in the Harlem section.
Police said their initial investigation showed the shooting was justified because Bartlett was approaching eight officers with the pipe raised in his hand.
Minutes earlier, Bartlett had clubbed rookie Officer James Winslow, 25, without provocation, breaking both his hands, police said. The officer was hospitalized in stable condition.
Relatives of the dead man questioned the police account, and an aunt, Jamala Graham, said the family would contact a civil-rights lawyer.
″If he was holding a pipe, I don’t see why they had to shoot him that many times,″ said Vinimore Robinson Jr., a cousin. ″This whole thing is very strange to me.″
District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau said Sunday his office will investigate the case and present the facts to a grand jury, as is routine in such cases.
Officers involved, who police said fired a total of 10 shots, refused to be questioned unless given immunity from prosecution, The New York Times reported today. Morgenthau said ″it is premature to give immunity.″
Police said one of the officers was hit in the leg, apparently by a ricocheting bullet, police said. He was hospitalized in satisfactory condition.