New York Daily News

September 16, 2007

Thug set to go on trial in 2005 shooting of officer in Brooklyn


It was the Monday after Thanksgiving two years ago when Officer Dillon Stewart and his partner saw a car with stolen plates blow through a red light on Church Ave. in Brooklyn.

In a scene that will be replayed in a trial beginning tomorrow, Stewart gunned the unmarked car down the darkened street, lights and sirens blazing, until he pulled alongside the maroon 1990 Infiniti Q-45 sedan at an intersection on Flatbush Ave.

"I stuck my head out to be sure they were the police," the Infiniti's driver, Allan Cameron, 29, later told cops, authorities said. "One of the cops ordered me to get out of the car. I didn't get out."

Instead - though Cameron continues to deny it - cops say he pulled a black-handled 9-mm. Glock and fired six shots at Stewart and his partner Paul Lipka, hitting Stewart once. The bullet slipped under his bulletproof vest and pierced his heart.

Stewart, 35, a decorated cop and a father of two, was mortally wounded, but he still gave chase and helped nail his alleged killer. Stewart was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where doctors fought to save him. He died as his wife, Leslyn, stood nearby.

Stewart's widow and his partner are expected to be among the first witnesses called against Cameron, who also is charged with attempting to kill off-duty Brooklyn cop Wiener Philippe on Nov. 19, 2005, during a robbery in Crown Heights.

There are no witnesses who can identify Cameron as Stewart's killer, but police say his own statements put him at the scene and shell casings will tie him to the Infiniti and 9-mm. Glock. Jurors also will hear how Cameron fled from cops in an almost identical chase two years earlier.

Prosecutors are expected to present dozens of witnesses, as well as high-tech reenactments of bullet trajectories during the expected three-week trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Albert Tomei.

Along with testimony from Stewart's widow and Lipka, jurors will hear from Cameron's girlfriend, who was with him when he was caught in her mother's apartment.

The backdrop of the trial will be the memory of Stewart.

Like Cameron, Stewart grew up on the island of Jamaica and moved to New York. But while Cameron, a wanna-be rapper, admits to smoking pot, urinating in public and fleeing from cops at least three times, Stewart was earning medals from the NYPD.

A cousin described Stewart as "one of the sweetest people on the face of the Earth."

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Stewart "was a courageous police officer, a loving father and husband and was not the first person to be shot by Allan Cameron."

"We have faith," Lynch said, "that the good people of Brooklyn who will sit in judgment of this case will see Allan Cameron for the cowardly thug that he is and put him away for life."