A church custodian saw a man alone in a parking lot, swinging a folding chair like an ax, bringing it down toward the windshield of a parked van and stopping, an inch from the glass, says the New York Times. Police were called, and the man swung the chair at Officer Dawn Ortiz, who shot and killed him. The police said the Nov. 13 shooting of day laborer Gilberto Blanco appeared to be justified. because the officer was at risk of being killed or seriously hurt with the chair. “as there an imminent threat to life or serious injury?” asked police spokesman Paul Browne. “That is the defining statement.”
Results of an internal police probe may never be made public. The outcome: A man with no known criminal record and an otherwise invisible life as an immigrant worker is dead, at 46. The officer has been sidelined with administrative duties.