- 15-Year-Old Held in Murder of Siblings
- Dead Iowa Kidnapping Suspect Probed in Cousins' Deaths
- Colorado Killer's Reprieve Sharply Criticized
- Czech Police Seek US Man Suspected of 4 Murders
- Washington Deputy Injured in Off-Duty Motorcycle Crash Dies
- Woman’s Life Saved using Vigilant Solutions’ License Plate Recognition (LPR) Data
- Morphix Technologies Chameleon Cassette for Ammonia
NEW YORK -- An off-duty policeman who shot an unarmed driver to death in a road rage confrontation won't face criminal charges, prosecutors said.
A Manhattan grand jury voted yesterday not to file charges against Officer Sean Sawyer in the death of Jason Tirado after hearing testimony from police, medical and civilian witnesses.
When Tirado refused to let the officer's sport utility vehicle merge with traffic onto an exit ramp last October, the officer followed him and they argued, prosecutors said. Sawyer claims Tirado started the fight; passengers in Tirado's car claim Sawyer yelled first.
Eventually, Sawyer said, Tirado gestured as if he had a gun.
Sawyer fired two shots at him, striking him in the torso, before leaving the scene.
Sawyer didn't know Tirado had been hit and killed until the next day, when he saw it on the news, prosecutors said. He told a police sergeant what had happened and turned over his gun.
Tirado's relatives said Sawyer should have shown his badge and shouldn't have fled the scene after the incident. They questioned why Sawyer wasn't immediately arrested after surrendering.
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said he shared the family's outrage but, according to the law, it's not a crime for a police officer to leave the scene of a shooting without reporting it as soon as practicable. He said his office will submit legislation to change that.
Sawyer was assigned to the Queens Narcotics Bureau and had been on the force since 2004. He had been suspended with pay, and the case will be reviewed internally by the New York Police Department.
Sawyer is facing sanctions ranging from suspension to dismissal.
Tirado's mother, Irene Tirado, lashed out at Sawyer. "I can't forgive him," she said. "I don't want him to be a police officer ever again."