The story was reported by WIL CRUZ, ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO, DAN JANISON, DAVID LEPESKA, HERBERT LOWE and ROCCO PARASCANDOLA. It was written by DeStefano
Copyright 2005 Newsday, Inc.
Newsday (New York)
Facing a sea of silent, angry cops and court officers, the suspect in the killing of Police Officer Dillon Stewart shuffled into a Brooklyn courtroom yesterday and pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
A tall, gangly man who had a bandage over his left eyebrow, Allan Cameron, 27, stood quietly, his hands cuffed behind his back and his legs tethered, during the five-minute arraignment in Brooklyn criminal court.
Cameron was charged with first-degree murder in the Monday killing of the police officer from Elmont and also with attempted murder for shooting and wounding off-duty Officer Wiener Philippe, 26, in Crown Heights on Nov. 19.
He faces life in prison without parole if convicted of the top murder charge. Judge Richard Allman ordered Cameron held without bail.
At their Elmont home yesterday, Stewart's family gathered and waited the return of their priest to make funeral arrangements.
Police meanwhile were busy putting together a case against Cameron, already having matched the shell casing recovered from inside the car he was driving to the handgun found on him, according to officials.
Cameron's alleged killing of a uniformed officer who was a father of two and was working an overnight shift in Flatbush when he was shot has stirred many New Yorkers' emotions, with Gov. George Pataki yesterday calling for the death penalty.
"In my view, when someone murders a police officer while committing a crime, the death penalty is an appropriate remedy," Pataki said.
Outside the courtroom, where hundreds of police and court officers turned out for the arraignment, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Cameron should plead guilty to not waste taxpayer money.
The court complaint involving Stewart's death recounted how the officer attempted to pull Cameron's car over for running a red light Monday morning on Flatbush Avenue. Stewart, 35, was fatally wounded after several shots were fired from Cameron's 1990 Infiniti, the complaint stated.
Yesterday, police said 53 bags of marijuana were found in Cameron's car, although he hasn't been charged with drug possession.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters Cameron gave conflicting statements to detectives. He first said someone else was in the Infiniti, then later said he was alone, according to Kelly. The commissioner added that tests for gunpowder residue were being conducted on Cameron's clothing.
Police said that they have matched the shell casing recovered from inside the Infiniti to the handgun, the 9-mm Glock, found on Cameron. Police also said that Cameron admitted being in the car but didn't admit to shooting Stewart.
The gun on Cameron was reported stolen in Florida in 1999, Kelly said, adding that analysis showed the gun was used in a May shooting at Club Tropical Paradise in Brooklyn. Another suspect was charged in that case, Kelly noted.
A second complaint accused Cameron of shooting Philippe, who has since recovered, according to officials, during a robbery of the off-duty officer's jewelry in Flatbush. A different gun was used in the shooting, police said.
Cameron is charged with first- and second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and a traffic violation.
Defense attorney Edward Friedman noted to Allman that Cameron had an injury over his left eye. Friedman had "no comment" when asked how his client was injured.
Kelly later said that Cameron got a slight abrasion in a scuffle in the Brooklyn apartment of his girlfriend, where he was arrested a few hours after the shooting. Cameron had been taken to Lutheran Medical Center for treatment.
While Cameron's court appearance was short and low-key, outside the courtroom, Lynch lashed into the defendant with fiery rhetoric.
"If this mutt has the courage to pull the trigger, let him have the courage to do the time," Lynch said.
Leslie Ann Davidson, 36, Cameron's ex-girlfriend living in Florida, said he called her after the fatal shooting and denied killing Stewart.
"He said he didn't do it and I believe him," Davidson said.
Davidson quoted her ex-boyfriend as saying, "Every time they [the police] look at me they beat me up."
Cameron's mother, Eunice, of Flatbush, also said she didn't believe her son shot the officers.
"I have to go by what he said," Eunice Cameron said. "He said he is innocent."
November 30, 2005
Angry NY cops fill courthouse for arraignment