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4 NYPD Officers Suspended After Appearing To Do Nothing When Man Accidentally Shot Self In Harlem

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Four NYPD officers are suspended for allegedly standing by and doing nothing when a man accidentally shot himself in Harlem.

Sources said the officers reported the shooting as a fireworks incident, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported Thursday.

In the video, if you look closely at the group of men, you see a flash right before the men scatter. One of them limps away.

The video doesn't have audio, but sources said that man accidentally shot himself at around 9 p.m. Monday in the area of West 136th Street and 7th Avenue.

Watching the video for the first time, you may not notice the two police officers on the left and the NYPD car on the street.

Nearly 30 seconds after the flash, one of the officers walks to the corner. About a minute later, the other officer gets up and walks to the NYPD car as another pulls up.

That's when the surveillance video provided by a police source ends.

Not only were officers there when it happened, there's a police precinct right around the corner.

"Every day, they're right here, all around here," said Cat Long, a Harlem resident. "There's definitely a police presence, there's no doubt about it."

"They're present, but they don't do anything," said Kiera Owens, another Harlem resident.

Some who live and work in the area said they're not surprised the officers didn't seem to take action.

"The only reason why they're out here is because people in the neighborhood keep calling the cops on those guys. The same guys are always out here," said Owens.

"I see police, but it just doesn't seem like it's ever enough and sometimes they do walk away," one man said.

"I think it's probably they're afraid because of what's going on," another man said.

NYPD sources said four uniformed members were stationed there for "violence reduction" and called in a report of fireworks. Police eventually responded to 911 calls of shots fired.

The NYPD, we're told, looked over body camera footage and said two of the officers, when asked, claimed they believed they heard fireworks and were unaware the man accidently shot himself.

The four officers are suspended without pay pending the investigation. Sources said the NYPD is looking at possible disciplinary charges, potentially for failure to take police action.

The man who shot himself took himself to the hospital and will be OK. He is charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm and reckless endangerment.


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