Last September, police shot two female bystanders near Times Square while confronting an emotionally disturbed and unarmed Brooklyn man. Glenn Broadnax, 35, later told authorities that he was "on a mission to kill myself" when he lurched into traffic on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue around 9:35 p.m. on September 14th. Broadnax has now been charged with assault because he “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death”—ie, he is being charged for wounding those bystanders despite neither shooting them nor having any weapon.
The shooting occurred after Broadnax, who suffers from anxiety and depression, had reached into his pocket for his wallet, which cops mistook for a gun. Two officers opened fire, striking two bystanders, one of whom was shot in the leg, the other grazed by a bullet in her buttocks. Police were criticized after the incident for their poor marksmanship and allegedly excessive force.
Broadnax was initially arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office pursued higher charges. “The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.
For what it's worth, the lawyer for Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of the bystanders hit that day, said that charges should be filed against the officers who fired into a crowd: “It’s an incredibly unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be prosecuting a man who didn’t even injure my client,” attorney Mariann Wang told the Times. “It’s the police who injured my client.”