The New York City Law Department is dropping all charges against a rapper who allegedly shot an NYPD officer during a confrontation earlier this year. In an infuriating twist, the public will be kept in the dark about the decision to clear the accused.
Camrin Williams, a 16-year-old aspiring rapper who performs under the name C Blu, originally faced charges for allegedly shooting a 27-year-old police officer in the leg during a January scuffle in the city. At the time of the shooting, Williams was on probation for a gun charge.
Despite the serious nature of the charges against Williams, the city Law Department claims the young performer “cannot be prosecuted.”
In March, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj ruled that the charges against Williams should be moved into family court, where penalties are less severe, according to the New York Daily News. He had initially been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, assault and other charges.
Semaj disbelieved the police narrative that Williams refused to take his hands out of his pockets during the Jan. 18 encounter.
Semaj said the police had no reason to search the teen, who was seen on body-camera footage with his hands up during the encounter.
The judge added that it wasn’t even clear Williams had caused the firearm to go off, the Post reported.
“Just because the city cannot prosecute doesn’t mean this individual should have been carrying an illegal weapon,” a Law Department spokesperson told the New York Post, “a weapon which contributed to both him and an officer being shot.” The bullet passed through Williams’ groin before entering the officer’s leg.
It’s clear the department was ready to tackle the case, and their strong language hints they might have had a solid case against the accused.
Was dropping these charges the wrong decision?
Yes: 91% (21 Votes)
No: 9% (2 Votes)
Regardless of any slam-dunk legal arguments in the works, the dropped charges have effectively ended this case for good, and any member of the public wanting to know why this important prosecution is suddenly being abandoned is out of luck.
“Pursuant to Family Court Law,” the department explained, “the case is now sealed and we are unable to say more about the matter.”
Not everyone in power is determined to stay silent on the matter, however.
“This absurd decision should outrage every New Yorker who wants to get illegal guns off our streets,” NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch told the New York Post.
“There is no dispute that this individual was caught carrying an illegal gun for the second time. If perps like this face absolutely no consequences, even after shooting a cop, we have to ask: why bother sending us out to get the guns at all?”
Lynch’s frustration is more than justified.
New York police, like their brothers and sisters in many of America’s big cities, are facing increased hatred and violence in the wake of a nationwide left-wing movement against law enforcement.
Even more frustrating, the violence is seemingly enabled by activist prosecutors and judges who release potentially violent criminals back into the community.
One NYPD officer was shot and wounded May 11, allegedly by a gunman who pleaded guilty to a firearms charge but was allowed to roam free until his sentencing. Return fire killed the alleged gunman.
On Jan. 21, NYPD officer Jason Rivera and his partner were killed by a gunman while on duty in the city.
In Rivera’s eulogy, his widow scorched the district attorney and the system for allowing violence to bloom against officers. Her message hit home for thousands of police officers at the funeral, who soon gave her a standing ovation for the powerful speech.
While it’s not clear if a soft-on-crime approach is what led to the dismissal of Williams’ charges, the dismissal of this high-profile case likely won’t help police morale in the city.