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January 05, 2007
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After 50-shot death, NYPD to review firearms tactics, training

NEW YORK -- (AP) Nearly six weeks after police shot an unarmed man to death in a hail of 50 bullets, the New York police department has hired a research group to review its firearms training.

The Rand Corp. will look at "officers' responses in highly stressful situations," police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Thursday at a news conference. He said one aim would be to reduce the incidence of "so-called contagious shooting"  -- the phenomenon of officers firing an excessive number of rounds in a chain reaction.

Five officers using semiautomatic pistols fired a total of 50 times while trying to stop a car on Nov. 25 outside a topless bar in Queens, killing the driver and injuring two of his friends. Police have said they suspected the men were going to retrieve a gun to settle a dispute, but no weapon was recovered.

The man who died was to be married hours later.

The shooting sparked community outrage and prompted a grand jury investigation to determine whether the officers should face criminal charges. The officers were put on leave pending the outcome.

The head researcher, K. Jack Riley, said the review would take about six months. The research group has previously worked with police departments in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Oakland, Calif.


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