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Police sources say the Bronx judge who cut loose a teenage rapper and gang member that shot an NYPD officer ‘is agenda driven’ and part of the reason why crime in New York City is spiraling.
Earlier this week prosecutors dropped charges against 16-year-old Camrin Williams, a NYC rapper accused of shooting NYPD officer Kaseem Pennant, 27, in the leg back in January as he was being searched.
Williams, who at the time was on probation for a 2020 gun possession case, is a known gang member who raps as C Blu.
The 16-year-old no longer faces gun and assault charges, a decision has infuriated the NYPD.
The case was dropped months after Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj who insisted police officers had ‘no apparent reason’ to search him and discredited arresting officers’ accounts.
‘The fact that an agenda-driven judge invented her own set of facts and her own interpretation of what is clear on that video is another sign that the criminal justice system in the Bronx is broken,’ the source told New York Post.
Camrin ‘C Blu’ Williams, 16, (pictured) had his shooting case transferred from an adult court to Family Court after a Bronx judge defended his actions during a scuffle with police
During a hearing in March, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj ruled to move Wwilliams’ case to Family Court because police officers had ‘no apparent reason’ to try to search him
Semaj, who has been on the bench at the Bronx Supreme Court since January and recently replaced a notoriously lenient judge in handling juvenile cases, also said that prosecutors failed to show that Pennant suffered ‘significant physical injury,’ despite being shot.
Police say Semaj has a history of going easy on teen offenders and say her interpretation of the March arrest was entirely wrong.
Williams fought with police officers in January when they responded to reports of unrest, and refused to comply with their orders to remove his hands from his pockets.
He began fighting with one of the officers and during the tussle, the gun went off and a single bullet struck and wounded Pennant and hit Williams in the groin.
Williams began fighting with one of the officers and during the tussle, the gun went off and a single bullet struck and wounded Pennant and hit Williams in the groin, police said
‘When he approached the individual and asked him to stand still and take his hands out of his pockets, he takes his hands out of his pockets then puts them back in and keeps moving backwards. The judge’s interpretation of that video recording was that the suspect was complying. He was doing everything but complying,’ the police source said.
The city announced on Friday that Williams could not be prosecuted, but noted that he was indeed carrying the weapon that ‘contributed’ to officer Pennant being shot.
‘Just because the city cannot prosecute doesn’t mean this individual should have been carrying an illegal weapon — a weapon which contributed to both him and an officer being shot,’ the Law Department said in a statement.
Deputy Commissioner John Miller said that the decision by the Law Department was especially concerning in light of the recent shooting death of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay, who was hit by a stray bullet during a gang-related Bronx drive-by.
‘The decision to dismiss the case is obviously concerning,’ Miller told The Post. ‘In a borough where we were just reminded with the death of an 11-year-old that the most serious problem is kids shooting kids, dropping the charges against a gang kid arrested with his second gun in the shooting of a cop sends a bad message.’
Overall crime is up 40 percent in New York City, while carjacking is up 58 percent
Earlier this year, Semaj took over handling juvenile cases from her veteran colleague Justice Denis Boyle, who sparked widespread condemnation by allowing teenage suspects accused of serious crimes – among them Camrin Williams – to be released on bail, reported New York Post.
But during her first few weeks presiding over juvenile cases, Semaj has shown herself to be just as lenient as her predecessor by allowing two 17-year-olds facing felony charges to walk free.
Braulio Garcia, 17, was arrested in January on charges of murder, manslaughter, robbery and gang assault in connection with the death of Good Samaritan Roland Hueston, who was struck by a train while trying to save another man from the tracks.
Prosecutors had asked that Garcia be held on bail, but last month Semaj ordered him to be released with supervision.
In the case of Sharif Mitchell, 17, who faces attempted murder charges for allegedly opening fire on a subway platform and shooting a 19-year-old man four time, Semaj released Mitchell on his own recognizance, even though at his arraignment another judge had ordered him held on $30,000 bail.
The decision to not charge Williams comes as NYC deals with soaring crime rates.
Overall crime is up 40 percent, slightly down in the last few months. All violent crime is up, except murder and shooting victims, which is down almost 12 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Transit is up the highest at 62 percent as New Yorkers have experienced several passengers being pushed onto tracks, as well as a mass shooting on Brooklyn subway train.
Assault is also up almost 20 percent and burglary and robbery have spiked 33 and 42 percent, respectively.