Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home  >  Topics  >  SWAT

May 29, 2003
Print Comment RSS

NYPD Official Reassigned After Mistake

NEW YORK (AP) - A senior police commander has become the third police official to be reassigned after a botched raid on a Harlem apartment that left a 57-year-old woman dead.

Assistant Chief Thomas Purtell, who oversees the department's Emergency Service Unit, was transferred to the Housing Bureau on Wednesday.

Alberta Spruill went into cardiac arrest after the May 16 raid, during which officers detonated a flash grenade and handcuffed her. A police informant had wrongly identified her apartment as one used by a drug dealer to stash cocaine and heroin.

Purtell was not at the raid, and was not directly involved in its supervision, but the officers who made the decision to use a flash grenade after breaking down the door were under his command.

Earlier, the Emergency Service Unit lieutenant who supervised the entry into the apartment was reassigned to desk duty, and the commander of the precinct where the incident took place was transferred.

The city medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide, saying Spruill's heart disease was aggravated by the raid. But a city official said the office was not making any judgment that the police acted improperly or that their conduct was unlawful.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The district attorney's office is investigating. No charges have been filed.






PoliceOne Offers

Sponsored by

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample