New York A police officer had just opened fire on a man he thought was a criminal, caught running through a desolate stretch of Harlem with a gun in his hand.
But when paramedics arrived at the scene and cut through the bloodied clothes, the officers realized the man handcuffed and dying in the street was wearing a police academy T-shirt underneath his street clothes, and had a badge in his pocket.
He was a rookie cop chasing down a thief who had just broken into his car.
Now, police are trying to determine whether any disciplinary or legal action will be taken against the officer who fired or whether the victim, Omar J. Edwards, might not have followed proper procedure.
The episode once again raised questions about whether the NYPD is too trigger-happy, especially when the targets are black. The officers are white; Edwards was black.