Slain N.Y. officer possibly mistaken for suspect
Ridley was not in uniform and was out of his jurisdiction
The Associated Press
Mount Vernon Officer Christopher Ridley, 23, was trying to make an arrest outside a Westchester County government complex shortly before 5 p.m. Friday when officers from a different department spotted him, and, under circumstances that remain unclear, opened fire and killed him.
Ridley was not in uniform and was out of his jurisdiction, but White Plains Public Safety Commissioner Frank Straub said yesterday that the young officer had witnessed a violent assault taking place and rushed to break up the fight.
He was struggling with the 39-year-old suspect when Westchester County police officers came upon the fray. Witnesses told reporters that the officers ordered Ridley to drop his gun, then shot him when he didn't immediately comply.
The shooting happened just as the streets began to fill with people leaving work.
Yesterday, Straub and other police officials refused to discuss the details of the shooting and wouldn't say what prompted the county officers to shoot, how many of them shot, or how many shots were fired.
The president of the police union in Mount Vernon, Kevin Mandel, said Ridley "couldn't have done anything wrong," and praised him as a hero for trying to break up the assault.
Mount Vernon Police Commissioner David E. Chong called the slain officer "a quiet and kind soul," and said he was confident the White Plains Police Department - which operates independently from the Westchester County department - would conduct an impartial investigation.
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