A black off-duty rookie police officer chasing a suspected thief in East Harlem with his gun drawn was fatally shot Thursday night when a white officer mistook him for a criminal.
“Police! Stop! Drop it!” cops from the 25th Precinct shouted at Omar Edwards, 25.
As he started to turn toward him – the gun still in his hand – an officer opened fire, sources said.
The officer involved in the shooting is white, Edwards is black and had no visible NYPD identification on him, sources said. It was unclear if Edwards identified himself.
“This is always a black cop’s fear, that he’d be mistaken for a [suspect],” a source said.
His father couldn’t fathom how such a fatal mistake could happen.
“If a police officer sees someone with a gun, you don’t just fire without asking questions or trying to apprehend the person,” said Ricardo Edwards, 72. “If the person was firing at a police officer, I understand.”
“It’s a horror for everyone involved. No one comes out unscathed,” a police source said.
Edwards had just became a new father. He recently took personal time from the force to take the baby to meet his parents in North Carolina. His mother, Natalia Harding said he just married his girlfriend Danielle Glen last month at City Hall.
Cops eventually arrested the suspected car thief.
What a tragedy.
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