Posted Jan. 30, 2008 – In an incident that some likened to the police killing of a New York groom on his wedding day, African-American activists are calling for the immediate suspension of four West Chester Policemen accused of shooting to death a Black Mount Vernon, N.Y., cop last Friday.
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"They've done it again," the Rev. Al Sharpton told The New York Daily News, drawing a parallel to the 2006 slaying of Sean Bell by four New York officers in Queens. Officer Christopher Ridley, 23, reportedly was shot to death after running into a government building and calling for backup after witnessing an assault outside a homeless shelter as he drove to White Plains, the Daily News reports.
"He went in and asked for assistance," said the Rev. Franklyn Richardson of Mount Vernon 's Grace Baptist Church , said Sunday. "The police who came ended up killing him." Richardson said that Ridley, who was off duty at the time, was not given medical attention for up to 20 minutes after fellow officers pumped four to five in the back of his head, chest, hip and wrist, Richardson said.
"This is an outrageous execution of a young African-American man who'd chosen to do the right thing," Richardson said after a jammed memorial service at his church, which was attended by Ridley’s and father, Stanley, and mother and stepfather, Felita and Ron Bouche. "This same situation would not have occurred if he was not African-American."
A devastated Danielle Scholar, a family friend, told the Daily News that "Christopher died a hero. We are sad but extremely proud of his display of courage." It is not clear why the officers fired on Ridley, who was armed but not in uniform, according to WABC-TV.
"I heard them saying, freeze, freeze, freeze," and then the cops fired, the witness said. At least one of the responding officers was Black, a law enforcement source told the Daily News.