Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski

Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski

Posted: Updated:
Police Officer Peter Figoski Police Officer Peter Figoski

The man suspected of driving the getaway car in a botched robbery where a New York City police officer died has been cleared of all charges.

A jury acquitted Michael Velez of burglary and murder Wednesday in the death of Police Officer Peter Figoski, who was killed December 12, 2011, by a single shot to the head.

Prosecutors said Velez and four others plotted the robbery the night before, and were interrupted by officers.

Velez testified in his own defense and said he thought he was just giving the men a ride.

The verdict dumbfounded the police department as well as the union that represents uniformed officers.

"When juries fail to comprehend the monstrous scale of a police officer's murder, they fail society itself. God help us if other gunmen and their getaway drivers take comfort in these verdicts because when a police officer is murdered society at-large is struck a mortal blow," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement. "It's shameful that the family of Peter Figoski must be crushed again by another incomprehensible verdict."

The union echoed that sentiment.

"This jury did not exhibit an ounce of the courage that Peter Figoski showed time and time again during his life as a police officer. This is a devastating verdict for all police officers and for the Figoski family," PBA president Patrick Lynch said. "We are deeply disappointed that the jury completely disregarded the role that the defendant played in the death of a brave police officer. While Peter's tragic death brought our city together, today, this jury let the entire city down."

Gunman Lamont Pride was convicted of murder earlier this week but was acquitted of a more serious murder charge that he intentionally killed the officer. He faces 25 to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 28.

--AP/WNYW

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Memo urges cops to use discretion for jaywalking summonses

    Memo urges cops to use discretion for jaywalking summonses

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:57 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:57:48 GMT
    A memo from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton instructs police officers to use discretion when ticketing elderly and disabled pedestrians for jaywalking. This comes after an 84-year-old jaywalker was injured during his arrest on the Upper West Side in January. The memo which was was dated April 15 reads:  "Use discretion when elderly or handicapped persons are observed jaywalking.... If pedestrian actions are not causing a safety risk... warn and admonish the violator instead."
    A memo from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton instructs police officers to use discretion when ticketing elderly and disabled pedestrians for jaywalking. This comes after an 84-year-old jaywalker was injured during his arrest on the Upper West Side in January. The memo which was was dated April 15 reads in part:  "Use discretion when elderly or handicapped persons are observed jaywalking.... If pedestrian actions are not causing a safety risk... warn and admonish the violator instead."
  • Fund raises thousands for exonerated NYC man

    Fund raises thousands for exonerated NYC man

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:20 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:20:44 GMT
    A recently exonerated New York man who spent nearly 25 years behind bars for a killing that happened while he was at Disney World is getting help from dozens of well-wishers contributing to an online fund for him. About 70 people gave a total of more than $3,400 to the campaign for Jonathan Fleming by Wednesday. Fleming was released last week after a judge dismissed the 1989 case, with Brooklyn prosecutors' assent.
    A recently exonerated New York man who spent nearly 25 years behind bars for a killing that happened while he was at Disney World is getting help from dozens of well-wishers contributing to an online fund for him. About 70 people gave a total of more than $3,400 to the campaign for Jonathan Fleming by Wednesday. Fleming was released last week after a judge dismissed the 1989 case, with Brooklyn prosecutors' assent.
  • Court extends NYPD officer's weapons case in India

    Court extends NYPD officer's weapons case in India

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:57 AM EDT2014-04-17 10:57:01 GMT
    An Indian court says it won't rule before July 1 on the case of a New York City police officer arrested in New Delhi on a weapons charge. The New York Police Department says Manny Encarnacion was arrested in March after Indian authorities discovered three bullets he had accidentally packed in his luggage. He is out on bail but has been barred from leaving India until the case is resolved.
    An Indian court says it won't rule before July 1 on the case of a New York City police officer arrested in New Delhi on a weapons charge. The New York Police Department says Manny Encarnacion was arrested in March after Indian authorities discovered three bullets he had accidentally packed in his luggage. He is out on bail but has been barred from leaving India until the case is resolved.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices