The NYPD has fired an officer that was caught on camera planting a knife next to the body of 21-year-old Thavone Santana, a victim of an off-duty police shooting. Though the investigation is still pending, Sgt. Ritchard Blake, 40, was terminated on Friday.
The Hill reports:
NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said earlier this month that it appeared as if Blake was attempting to plant the weapon on Santana. Santana survived the shooting and his family called for Blake’s removal from the force.
“That’s what it looks like,” O’Neill told local news station WPIX 11 of the allegations that Blake had attempted to plant a weapon near Santana. “But there’s an investigation that needs to be done to determine that.”
“I think everybody that has seen that video was outraged,” O’Neill continued. “It’s extremely disturbing.”
The department said earlier this month that the footage had been shared with the Kings County district attorney, and it was unclear if Blake would face charges over the shooting, which occurred while he was off-duty.
“The video captures actions that raise serious questions, and require further investigation,” department spokesman Phil Walzak told the NBC affiliate. “Recovered video is being shared with the Kings County DA.”
While there’s rarely justice in cases like this, this is definitely a start.