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Unarmed Man Charged With Assault Because Police Shot Bystanders When They Were Aiming For Him

The New York Police Department attracted yet more scrutiny in September, when police opened fire on an unarmed and seemingly unstable man who was weaving between cars in a busy Times Square intersection. Police missed their target, but shot two women nearby. Now, the city is blaming the officers’ botched shootings on the unarmed man, Glenn Broadnax, who has been charged with assault.

The indictment released on Wednesday accused Broadnax of being “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.” The two officers who actually pulled the trigger are still being investigated by the district attorney’s office. If he is convicted for the police shooting, Broadnax, 35, could be in prison for up to 25 years.

Broadnax’s attorney told the New York Times he cannot be held responsible for the officers’ actions, since he “never imagined his behavior would ever cause the police to shoot at him.” Indeed, at the time of the incident, many questioned if pulling a gun on an unarmed man in one of the busiest areas in the city was a necessary call. Nor was this the first time New York officers missed their target; in one high profile instance, police also shot nine bystanders while trying to take down a gunman outside the Empire State Building last year.

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