NY ex-officer's conviction nixed in fatal shooting

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2011 8:03 PM
NY ex-officer's conviction nixed in fatal shooting

An appeals court says a former New York City police officer shouldn't have been convicted of manslaughter for his off-duty shooting of an unarmed, drunken driver after a car crash.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division voided Rafael Lora's conviction and dismissed the case Tuesday.

Lora was off duty when he heard a minivan crash into a parked car outside his Bronx home and went to investigate in May 2007. He said minivan driver Fermin Arzu ignored his commands and began driving away, dragging him along. Lora said he shot Arzu five times out of fear for his life.

The court found Lora didn't act recklessly, as the manslaughter charge required.

Lora's lawyers and union say his actions were justified. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson says he may appeal.