New York City’s police oversight agency will re-open fatal shooting case

On Monday, a year and a half after Alexander Bonds was fatally shot on a city street by New York City police officers, the S.I.U. said it is reopening its investigation of the circumstances that led to his death and would be re-interviewing people seen in surveillance footage in order to recreate the incident. No new charges have been filed against any officers involved in the shooting.

The S.I.U. released a statement announcing its decision to re-open the case.

“Today, the S.I.U. announced it will be reopening its investigation into the November 15, 2017 incident in the Bronx. At this time, the investigation is taking longer than the S.I.U. originally anticipated due to the need to re-interview witnesses, potential witnesses and additional information,” the release stated. “Despite the need for more time, we will continue to seek justice for the family of Alexander Bonds, and for all of our fellow New Yorkers.”

The release stated that in the meantime, New York City prosecutors, the office that oversees the S.I.U., would continue to work with the O.P.P. and all appropriate law enforcement agencies to “hold accountable all those who committed or caused the injuries and deaths of other citizens.”

Bonds, a 20-year-old man with an aggressive profile, was fatally shot in the back by two undercover officers who said they feared he was armed, with a .380 Sig Sauer handgun. A bystander also recorded videos on her cell phone of the moments leading up to the shooting, showing the officers struggling with Bonds and a woman shouting at them. The city medical examiner found that Bonds had been shot in the back, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William Hochul, later recommended that the city turn over the case to the S.I.U. to investigate its procedures.

An attorney for Bonds’ family, Barry Covert, said that the decision to re-open the case makes sense.

“It is quite common in these types of cases for an S.I.U. to step back and investigate again. We have been in close contact with the S.I.U. and are well aware of this possibility,” he said in a statement. “Alexander’s family was given the medical examiner’s report on January 26, which indicated that Alexander was indeed shot in the back, and we have been promised the S.I.U.’s final determination on the case by January 31. Until now, we have been assured that the S.I.U.’s determinations are final. We are confident that the S.I.U. will accurately determine the facts of this case. We have no doubt that, ultimately, the correct result will be reached.”

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