Friendly Fire Shooting Still Haunts NYPD Officer

June 4, 2013
Sgt. Andrew Dunton accidentally killed Officer Omar Edwards, who was in plain clothes, in 2009.

An NYPD cop who accidentally killed a fellow officer spoke about the incident for the first time on the four-year anniversary — and said the pain of that day will never go away.

“I’m trying to get along with my life and hopefully the other side is getting on with their life,” Sgt. Andrew Dunton told The Post last week.

He vividly recalled the night of May 28, 2009. Dunton, who is white, was with fellow anti-crime-unit members when they saw 25-year-old rookie Officer Omar Edwards in plain clothes sprinting after a thief who tried to break into his car in East Harlem.

Edwards, who was black and worked a housing-project post, did not respond to the officers’ shouts of “Police! Drop it!” — and Dunton fatally shot the young cop in his heart, lung and chest.

It was only as Edwards lay dying that they realized they had felled one of their own.

Edwards was posthumously promoted to detective. The emotions are still raw for his family.

Danielle Glenn, 22, who was left to raise their children, Xavier and Keanu, said, “I have nothing to say about that.”

But Edwards’ 76-year-old father Ricardo said he forgives Dunton.

“We are all human beings,” he said. “I don’t hold him accountable for nothing whatsoever. He did what he had to do.”

But the father said he’s wounded.

“I think about Omar every second, every minute, every hour. It’s not an easy thing to live with.”

Dunton was at the 17th Precinct Community Council meeting on the East Side on Tuesday’s anniversary to deliver a slide show on the NYPD’s social-media strategy that targets gang violence.

One community member asked Dunton of his cyber undercover work, “Do you fear for your life?”

“Do I fear for my life? I always fear for my life,” he said. “Everyone should fear for their life. You don’t know what’s going to happen this year.”

That’s when he recounted the Edwards shooting.

“I hate to talk about this, but today actually marks the four-year anniversary — I was involved in a police-involved shooting which closed one door to my police career,” he said.

“But one door opened and I was allowed to do this, work on this and help affect other people.” “My door is always open,” he said. “Any kid can always come talk to me.”

The sergeant also uses his slide show to educate troubled youths.

“Their mentality is not there,” he said of the city’s estimated 330 crews and gangs — with 5,000 kids claiming membership.

Republished with permission of The New York Post

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