New York Daily News

March 4, 2011


 

Cops escape charges for Harlem block party shooting that left one man dead, six wounded

BY Melissa Grace and Alison Gendar
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Cops who fired 46 rounds while breaking up a chaotic Harlem block party won't face criminal charges after a grand jury voted not to indict on Friday.

The same grand jury previously voted not to indict Angel Alvarez, accused of firing at the officers and triggering a gun battle that killed one person and wounded six others.

Alvarez, 24, denies he fired at anyone during the Aug. 8 melee. He survived being shot 23 times.

"Angel Alvarez committed no crime but the police tried to kill him nonetheless," said Alvarez' lawyer, Matthew Galluzzo, who may file a lawsuit.

"Although the grand jury declined to indict the officers that shot him, we believe that they should be held fully responsible for the tremendous injury they caused him."

The police union said the grand jury got it right.

"It is reassuring to see that this grand jury based its decision on the facts of the case and not on fiction from the streets," said union president Patrick Lynch.

The chaos began when Alvarez and an acquaintance, Luis Soto, got into a fist fight after a crowded block party. He says Soto, 23, shot him in the stomach several times and they struggled over the gun.

Police fired 46 shots. One killed Soto; another wounded a fellow officer, prosecutors said. Another cop and three bystanders were wounded.