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'Elite' NYPD Unit Keeps Firing Guns Accidentally

Members of the Emergency Service Unit of the NYPD -- the "elite," according to the Daily News -- have fired three stray rounds in three months, including a mistaken shot unleashed by a sniper (with a rifle!) during the tree-lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center. That is, a man charged with protecting hundreds of tourists from atop a city building fired his gun while on guard in late November. And then it happened two more times in the next two months!

Here's the rundown, via the News:

It happened about 90 minutes after the ceremony, as the sniper teams were pulling out. The round hit a building and was found a block and a half away.

Four days earlier, an ESU detective getting out of his vehicle to respond to a report of a barricaded gunman accidentally fired a shotgun in Harlem.

The blast went through an apartment window on W. 136th St. As in the Rockefeller Center incident, no one was injured.

In the latest incident, a 76-year-old man was shot in the stomach during a Jan. 22 drug raid in the Bronx.

Last year, there were 23 "accidental discharges" total, and only two all year from the ESU, the guys who are supposed to be really good, while out of the 23 in 2009, only one was by an ESU member. But since the Rockefeller Center misfire, ESU training "has been revised to highlight the weapon's safety position." Ah yes, the safety position of a sniper rifle. Remember: red dot means hit the deck.

Elite cops from NYPD's Emergency Service Unit fire three stray rounds in three months [NYDN via Gawker]


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