New York

Cop Who Shot Unarmed Drunk Driver Guilty of Manslaughter


It’s rare that a New York City cop is found guilty of shooting a civilian. Officer Rafael Lora shot Fermin Arzu, an immigrant from Honduras, in the Bronx in May 24. Lora, a resident of the neighborhood, had been told that a man was driving his van erratically and smashing into cars; the officer, in his street clothes, approached Arzu and questioned him. Arzu, whose speech was reportedly slurred and whose blood alcohol was later found to be high, reached for his glove compartment — Lora says Arzu threw something at him — and his van lurched forward and struck Lora, dragging him. Lora shot Arzu five times. Much was made of the fact that Arzu was by all accounts a peaceable citizen — and was unarmed at the time of his shooting. Lora was charged with first-degree manslaughter and waived his right to a jury trial. Today he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter. He will be sentenced on May 15 and faces 15 years in prison.



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