Judge Tosses “Ill Advised” Case Against Drug Agent

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A federal judge in Brooklyn has thrown out a criminal charge against a white federal drug agent who fatally shot an unarmed black suspect in the back. District Attorney Charles Hynes, a local prosecutor who was handling the case in federal court, said he would appeal the ruling, the New York Times says.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis called it an “ill-advised prosecution” that included “absurd assertions.” The judge cited a “preposterous statement” by prosecutors that the agent had no reason to fear the suspect, even though the man had rammed his car into an agent’s car to escape arrest. Garaufis said the agent reasonably concluded he was in danger because he thought the suspect was reaching for the agent’s gun.

Benito Romano, a former United States attorney in Manhattan, commented that “if judges start to write opinions that reflect a basic lack of confidence or trust in prosecutors, it is a great cause for concern.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/05/nyregion/05DEA.html?pagewanted=1

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