21:20 GMT04 December 2020
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    The NYPD has fired an officer who was off-duty when he confronted a man he had an ongoing dispute with, “possibly over a woman.” The officer, 40-year-old Sergeant Ritchard Blake, was fired Friday after video surfaced appearing to show him planting a knife on the body of the man whom he’d just shot.

    Video showing the August 2 shooting was "extremely disturbing," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill told local media some days later. When asked about the allegations that Blake planted a knife on the man, O'Neill said, "That's what it looks like.'

    Blake claimed that the man, 21-year-old Thavone Santana, was a robber. The video, which has no audio, was taken outside the apartment of the woman believed to be the center of the dispute, Debbie Lima. It shows Blake and Santana talking for about 20 seconds before Blake pulls out his gun. Santana braces himself, and Blake fires two shots, one hitting Santana in the jaw.

    As the Santana lies on the ground, Blake can be seen pulling an object from his back pocket and placing it near the prone man. Later, he returns and puts it back in his pocket. That object was a knife, according to law enforcement officials who spoke with the New York Post.

    ​Santana was taken to the hospital in stable condition. 

    On August 3, Blake was placed on modified duty.

    Blake, who was fired two weeks after the shooting, originally claimed Santana told him, "You're gonna die tonight," before trying to rob him. Blake also said he offered up his cellphone, saying, "Don't rob me."

    But that doesn't seem to be the case. O'Neill said, "I think everybody who has seen that video was outraged. The community certainly was," less than a week after the shooting.

    Days before Blake's firing, protesters, including Santana's mother, marched demanding justice and the sergeant's firing.

    Video of the incident has been sent to the Kings County District Attorney's Office, as the officer resides outside of the city. Criminal charges against Blake have not been filed so far.

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    Tags:
    Police Abuse, police brutality, NYPD
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