Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski

Posted: Updated:
Police Officer Peter Figoski Police Officer Peter Figoski

The man suspected of driving the getaway car in a botched robbery where a New York City police officer died has been cleared of all charges.

A jury acquitted Michael Velez of burglary and murder Wednesday in the death of Police Officer Peter Figoski, who was killed December 12, 2011, by a single shot to the head.

Prosecutors said Velez and four others plotted the robbery the night before, and were interrupted by officers.

Velez testified in his own defense and said he thought he was just giving the men a ride.

The verdict dumbfounded the police department as well as the union that represents uniformed officers.

"When juries fail to comprehend the monstrous scale of a police officer's murder, they fail society itself. God help us if other gunmen and their getaway drivers take comfort in these verdicts because when a police officer is murdered society at-large is struck a mortal blow," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement. "It's shameful that the family of Peter Figoski must be crushed again by another incomprehensible verdict."

The union echoed that sentiment.

"This jury did not exhibit an ounce of the courage that Peter Figoski showed time and time again during his life as a police officer. This is a devastating verdict for all police officers and for the Figoski family," PBA president Patrick Lynch said. "We are deeply disappointed that the jury completely disregarded the role that the defendant played in the death of a brave police officer. While Peter's tragic death brought our city together, today, this jury let the entire city down."

Gunman Lamont Pride was convicted of murder earlier this week but was acquitted of a more serious murder charge that he intentionally killed the officer. He faces 25 to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 28.

--AP/WNYW

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Is your home's energy meter spying on you?

    Is your home's energy meter spying on you?

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:38:32 GMT
    Utility companies across the U.S. are installing smart meters in customers’ homes, touting the technology’s energy-saving ways, but opponents argue that the meters are opening a Pandora’s box of privacy concerns.
    Utility companies across the U.S. are installing smart meters in customers’ homes, touting the technology’s energy-saving ways, but opponents argue that the meters are opening a Pandora’s box of privacy concerns.
  • New SAT: What will those questions look like?

    New SAT: What will those questions look like?

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:05:28 GMT
    Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students.
    Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students.
  • Search for arsonist targeting Brooklyn churches

    Search for arsonist targeting Brooklyn churches

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-04-16 13:09:23 GMT
    The hunt is on for the person who has set fires at three churches in three days in Brooklyn during Holy Week. Police say the first fire was started at 2:45 a.m. Saturday at The Greater New Beginnings Church in East Flatbush. They say newspapers were lit inside the doorway of the church.
    The hunt is on for the person who has set fires at three churches in three days in Brooklyn during Holy Week. Police say the first fire was started at 2:45 a.m. Saturday at The Greater New Beginnings Church in East Flatbush. They say newspapers were lit inside the doorway of the church.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices