As the investigation continues into the death of police officer Peter Figoski, who was fatally shot in the face while responding to a home invasion robbery in East New York, there has been finger-pointing about suspected shooter Lamont Pride. Pride, wanted on an outstanding warrant in North Carolina, was arrested twice in NYC; NC authorities appeared to lag in extraditing him and a NYC judge decided to free him without bail. Bloomberg had harsh words for the judge.
Bloomberg said today, "The reason [Pride] was not behind bars the last time is that a judge here in New York not only didn't put him behind bars, she didn't even think it was appropriate for bail. And he had a long history of not showing up. He had a long criminal record." According to the Post, "[Bloomberg] was referring to Judge Eveyln Laporte, who allowed Pride to go free in his own recognizance when he was arrested on a drug bust last month, ignoring a $2,500 bail request from the DA's office and a warrant from North Carolina."
Pride was wanted for allegedly shooting a man, RayShawn Maberson, in North Carolina earlier this summer. He was arrested in September for illegal possession of a knife in Coney Island and was released after time served. He did not stay out of trouble: The NY Times Jim Dwyer wrote:
In early November, when the police raided an apartment in Brooklyn, Mr. Pride was among three people arrested on drug charges. He was not the target of the raid, and when the police prepared his arrest record for the court, a stamp appeared prominently on the cover: “No hit.”
That is, there was no hit on a warrant that could be acted on — the authorities in North Carolina had already stated that they did not want to bring him back to face charges for the shooting of Mr. Maberson unless he was arrested in their state.
During the arraignment of Mr. Pride and the others in the drug case, the Criminal Court judge, Evelyn Laporte, was told about the warrant for his arrest in North Carolina. The Brooklyn prosecutors asked for $2,500 bail, which is a high amount for the kinds of charges that he faced in the drug raid. The transcript of the hearing shows that the judge, concerned primarily with the welfare of two children living in the apartment, released him without bail.
A police commander in Brooklyn called the authorities in Greensboro to ask about the warrant, and on Nov. 8, they upgraded its urgency to call for Mr. Pride’s extradition. By then, he had been released in the drug case. He did not resurface until his arrest on Monday morning in the shooting of Officer Figoski.
Bloomberg also said, "The district attorney did seem to try to get bail and came back again when the judge said no bail . But if you're talking about somebody who the rap sheet in front of you shows is potentially a dangerous person, has a gun, has a criminal history, common sense says don't let him out until you make one phone call. It's not a lot of work to do to protect the public. It wasn't done here, plain and simple."