An off-duty New York Police Department officer allegedly shot 13 times at a passenger stopped at a traffic light, after being pulled over in Westchester County. Bronx Officer Brendan Cronin was arrested and charged with assault, according to the Associated Press. He had turned on his hazard lights and was waving his gun after a short police chase that ended with him allegedly firing his gun after being pulled over. Cronin refused a breathalyzer test.
Cronin is the third NYPD officer in recent weeks to be charged in a shooting rumored to involve alcohol. Last week, another NYPD officer said he accidentally shot his partner in the arm in their police car, and was later charged with drunk driving. And a Staten Island officer reportedly fired at a car around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning during a dispute outside a strip club.
“I personally am very disturbed about the number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a longer-term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol by members of the department, members of the service,” said police chief William Bratton.
Police officers have also been responsible for several off-duty shootings elsewhere over the past few months. In Chicago, an off-duty corrections officer shot his wife and himself last week. And in Indianapolis, a sargeant snuck into the home of his ex-wife to kill her and then himself. A former NYPD officer was also charged last month for fatally shooting his wife in front of his kids.
Police shootings on the job are also on the rise in several cities. In Albuquerque, N.M., the Department of Justice found police engaged in excessive force in a spate of fatal shootings. And in Atlanta, deadly police force is on the rise, with four incidents just in the past month, and 56 times last year.
But the off-duty incidents resulted in criminal charges, where on-the-job shootings frequently do not.