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Prosecutors dropped charges against a teenage NYC rapper accused of shooting a cop in the leg while on probation – and have refused to say why.
Camrin Williams, 16, no longer faces gun and assault charges over claims he shot NYPD cop Kaseem Pennant, 27, in the leg in January.
Williams, a known gang member who raps as C Blu, was on probation for a 2020 gun possession case at the time.
A law department spokesman refused to comment on why the charges were dropped, saying only: ‘Pursuant to Family Court Law, the case is now sealed and we are unable to say more about the matter.’
But that decision has infuriated the NYPD union, whose leader branded it ‘absurd.’
NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch warned the decision was part of the reason why NYC continues to battle violent crime.
Camrin Williams was out on probation from a 2020 gun possession case when he got into a scuffle with police in January and allegedly shot NYPD officer Kaseem Pennant, 27, in the leg
Officer Kaseem Pennant left the hospital to the cheers of his fellow officers on January 19, a day after the shooting
Camrin Williams initially faced charges of criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault and other weapons charges stemming from the January 18 incident
He said: ‘If perps like this face absolutely no consequences, even after shooting a cop, we have to ask: why bother sending us out to get the guns at all?’ Lynch said.
Williams’ case was moved to juvenile court in March when a Bronx Justice ruled that while he carried the gun that injured Officer Pennant, the shooting had ensued after a search was conducted without ‘a halfway legitimate reason.’
Following the shooting on January 18, Williams’ bond was set at $250,000. He posted bond with money reportedly received from signing a recording contract with Interscope Records.
Williams’ dropped charges have caused outrage among some city officials, including PBA president Pat Lynch, The New York Post reported.
‘This absurd decision should outrage every New Yorker who wants to get illegal guns off our streets. There is no dispute that this individual was caught carrying an illegal gun for the second time,’ Lynch 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.
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.
Pennant was released from the hospital just hours later on January 19.
Williams’ case was moved to juvenile court in March when a Bronx Justice ruled that while he carried the gun (pictured) that injured Officer Pennant, the shooting had ensued after a search was conducted without ‘a halfway legitimate reason’
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
Williams, identified by police as a member of a subset of the Crips, was also taken to hospital before being taken to juvenile detention
During a hearing in March, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj ruled to move his case to Family Court because while Williams possessed an illegal gun, police officers had ‘no apparent reason’ to try to search him
Williams, identified by police as a member of a subset of the Crips, was also taken to hospital before being taken to juvenile detention.
Bronx Supreme Court Judge Denis Boyle set bail at $250,000 despite prosecutors’ call for Williams to be held without bail.
Williams accepted the services of ‘bail bondsman to the stars’ Ira Judelson, who has in the past worked with the likes of DMX, Ja Rule, Harvey Weinstein and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The aspiring rapper was back at the Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brooklyn on a probation violation within a week of his release.
He initially faced charges of criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault and other weapons charges stemming from the January 18 incident.
Williams was first charged as an adult and pleaded not guilty to the weapons and assault counts.
NYC PBA President Pat Lynch has blamed the rise in city crime on things like Williams’ ability to walk free on bond and his charges being dropped
After Williams’ release in February, his attorney, Dawn Florio touted his career to the judge.
Florio, much like Judelson, has a history with famous clients, including fellow troubled rapper 6ix9ine, formerly Tekashi69.
‘He has a very promising career,’ Florio told Judge Boyle. ‘Not only does he sing, rap, he writes his own music. One of his songs on YouTube has 8 million views.’
During a hearing in March, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj ruled to move his case to Family Court because while Williams possessed an illegal gun, police officers had ‘no apparent reason’ to try to search him.
‘There was absolutely zero reason for any of those officers to approach this individual,’ Judge Semaj said, referring to Williams, according to New York Daily News.
‘They approached him, they detained him, they searched him, and no officer even bothered to come up with a halfway legitimate reason for any of that.’
According to The New York Post, Williams had also been arrested when he was 14 in the Bronx for possession of a Tauris firearm.
Overall crime is up 40 percent in New York City, while carjacking is up 58 percent
New Mayor Eric Adams has promised to tackle the city’s 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.