Family of man shot by off-duty cop disputes robbery claim
An off-duty NYPD sergeant shot a man in the jaw Thursday in Brooklyn after the two apparently argued over a woman, sources told The Post.
Ritchard Blake, 40, told investigators he was walking to a subway station on Livonia Avenue near New Jersey Avenue in East New York at around 5 a.m. when the altercation occurred, according to police and neighborhood sources.
Blake, from the 109th Precinct in Queens, fired twice, hitting the victim — identified by sources as 21-year-old ex-con Thavone Santana — once. Santana is expected to survive.
The officer claimed that Santana was attempting to rob him, cops said.
But Santana’s family disputed the officer’s account and claimed the two men had prior arguments over a woman who lived nearby.
“The cop was getting robbed? Really?” Santana’s uncle, David Spencer, said incredulously.
“There are a lot of issues with this cop and the Police Department knows it. We want justice.”
Police said they are looking into the circumstances behind the shooting. Sources told The Post a video from the scene shows Blake place a knife or a blade on the ground near Santana after the shooting.
Moments later, however, the sergeant picks up the object and places it in his pocket, according to law-enforcement sources.
East New York community activist Chris Banks said Santana was in stable condition.
“He had about two surgeries. He’s not talking,” Banks said.
“This cop used his weapon in a manner that no officer should ever use his weapon.
“If you look at the story, it doesn’t match.”
Banks added that the shooting stemmed from a “personal dispute over a female and it’s been ongoing between [Santana] and this particular cop.”
Blake had been suspended in 2016 and was still on probation as of Thursday. The reasons for the disciplinary actions were not immediately known.
Additional reporting by C.J. Sullivan
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