Chief-Leader

October 30, 2017, 6:00 PM

Slain Cop’s Partner Makes a Courtroom ID Of Accused Killer

Brian Moore and Patrick LynchThe partner of NYPD Det. Brian Moore walked across a Queens courtroom and identified Demetrius Blackwell as the man who fatally shot Detective Moore during an otherwise routine traffic stop.

“That’s him,” Officer Erik Jansen said Oct. 23 as he pointed at Mr. Blackwell, who was seated at the defense table. The accused man showed no reaction.

Faces Life Without Parole

Mr. Blackwell, 37, faces charges including first-degree murder and attempted murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.

Detective Moore, 25, and Officer Jansen, who now works for the Suffolk County Police Department, were patrolling in an unmarked vehicle May 2, 2015, when they saw Mr. Blackwell, who appeared to be carrying a gun. “He was adjusting something on his waist on his left side,” Officer Jansen testified.

“Officer Moore began to open the door and said the last words he would ever say: ‘Police. You got something?’” said Assistant District Attorney Daniel Saunders in his opening statement Oct. 20 as dozens of officers crowded the courtroom. He said Mr. Blackwell responded, “Yeah, I got something,” then drew a handgun and shot Detective Moore twice in the head.

The officer, who was post­humously promoted to Detective First Grade, died two days later.

Peculiar Justification

Mr. Blackwell’s lawyer said his client fired at the officers because he did not want to be caught with an illegal handgun.

The lawyer, David Bart, questioned the accuracy of witness identifications of his client and the DNA test that showed his client’s residue on the weapon. He said Mr. Blackwell suffered from epi­lepsy and had brain surgery two years before the shooting, both of which might have affected his mental health.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat­rick J. Lynch called questions about Mr. Blackwell’s mental health “complete nonsense,” adding, “I have family and friends that have epilepsy and they don’t kill New York City police officers.”

During the trial, he told reporters, “We’re going to have an opportunity to tell a hero police officer’s story…We’re looking to follow this mutt straight to a prison cell.”