Former New York City Police Department (NYPD) sergeant Ritchard Blake has received five years of probation after being caught on surveillance camera shooting a man in the face and planting evidence on him.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun made his final sentence last week, giving a slap on the wrist to Blake that is a shocking example of how law enforcement personnel experiences a different standard of justice than ordinary civilians.
Blake, 40, was recorded on Aug. 2, 2018 firing two bullets toward Thavone Santana’s jaw and then planting a blade next to Santana as he laid on the ground. He would later return to the crime scene and pick up the knife. According to a civil lawsuit filed against the city, Blake acted out in a jealous rage.
Santana has claimed that Blake turned violent on him after a dispute over a phone charger. Blake’s girlfriend had borrowed Santana’s phone charger, and he ran into Blake on his way to buy a new one. Blake reportedly told Santana to stay away from his girlfriend before firing the gun at his face.
Blake has stood by his story that he fired the gun at Santana’s face in a measure self-defense, and he believed that Santana was armed. However, the video evidence showing Blake planting the blade on Santana makes his story seem very far-fetched.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement that his office wanted Blake to do prison time, but did not object to the lenient sentence given to the former cop.
“This defendant is now a convicted felon who has been held accountable for his actions and is no longer a member of the NYPD,” Gonzalez said.
“We rely on the truthfulness of our police officers to maintain the integrity of the criminal justice system, which makes his egregious and criminal conduct of trying to frame an individual in this case especially disturbing,” he added.
The NYPD has become increasingly disrespected in recent years, in lieu of cases like the death of Eric Garner that have galvanized the city against law enforcement.
A trend has developed in recent months of people dousing police officers with buckets of water as they patrol the streets.
NYPD Cops are in DANGER! Another video of water buckets being tossed. O’Neill needs to go before we get another cop killed! TERRENCE where’s the Arrest. No more tough talking, stop blaming the cops if you can’t handle the job perhaps you and O’Neill should find new work! pic.twitter.com/Nl8PqUE8Zc
— SBA (@SBANYPD) July 24, 2019
HORRIBLE: NYPD officers repeatedly had buckets of water thrown on them as they were patrolling the streets.
Is this really how we want to treat the men and women who protect us?
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) July 23, 2019
While any sort of violence against law enforcement officials is abhorrent, the public’s growing antipathy is understandable considering the double standard that is applied to cops by the government courts. Blake’s sentence is startling example of how the system protects its enforcer class from serious accountability.