2006_01_hernandez.jpgThree men suspected of beating off-duty police officer Eric Hernandez (pictured) at a White Castle in the Bronx were arrested. Edwin Rivera, Nelson Rodriguez, and Daryl Massey apparently knew Hernandez was a cop before beating him repeatedly; the White Castle surveillance tape released by the police led to tips about them. While battered, Hernandez had crawled outside, only to be shot by another police officer, Alfredo Toro, who thought he was one of the gang members. The NYPD believes that Officer Toro's shooting was justified; the Times points out that Toro hasn't been interviewed yet and that Commissioner Kelly is shifting attention to Hernandez's health. He was shot three times, once in each thigh and one in the stomach - the Times said "arteries feeding his lower limbs were shredded, flooding his abdominal cavity with blood." And as many papers have noted, Hernandez was a star on the NYPD's football team.

The three men were charged with assault. With this story, plus the other high-profile ones about fatal pedestrian-car accidents and the crumbling Administration of Children's Services, someone commented that it felt like the city was slowing getting out of control. Gothamist thinks the city is actually fairly under control, so that any mildly sensational story gets a lot of play. What do you think?