NYC cop indicted for shooting homeless man FWD

Tom Boland (
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 19:31:09 -0700 (PDT)


     Jul 14, 1998

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City police officer pleaded not guilty
Tuesday to charges of attempting to murder a homeless man who had tried
to wash his car windshield.

Michael Meyer is accused of shooting ``squeegee man'' Antoine Reid once
in the chest at close range June 14 during an argument on a Bronx
expressway. Meyer, who was off duty at the time and heading home from a
Yankees baseball game, was apparently angered by Reid soaping his car

Reid has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city and the police
department over the shooting, which renewed concern about relations
between city residents and a police force under orders to stamp out even the
most minor infractions.

Squeegee men, who splash soap onto the windshields of cars stopped at
traffic lights, then wash them for a dollar or two, were targeted by Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani as part of his ``quality of life'' campaign when he was
first elected in 1993. Giuliani said their actions intimidated other city

Meyer, 28, was indicted Tuesday on charges of attempted murder, assault
and reckless endangerment. He faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years

``The New York State statute is very clear on the circumstances under which
deadly physical force may be used,'' Bronx District Attorney Robert
Johnson said in a statement.

``We are alleging that there is no reasonable or legal justification for the
shooting of Antoine Reid.''

More than 100 police officers and friends of Meyer attended the State
Supreme Court hearing in the Bronx. Meyer, who was released on
$100,000 bail, says he fired once in self-defense after being attacked by
Reid. He has been suspended without pay since the shooting.

Meyer has had many brutality complaints filed against him and Reid has a
long criminal record, according to city officials.

Reid is recovering from his injuries after being released from the hospital at
the end of June.

Five officers were indicted earlier this year on federal and state charges
Haitian immigrant Abner Louima said he was beaten and sexually tortured
last summer at a Brooklyn police station.

In response to charges that police brutality rose as the crime rate fell,
Giuliani created a commission to review police behavior, but he has
dismissed most of its findings.


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