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Slain N.Y. officer possibly mistaken for suspect

Ridley was not in uniform and was out of his jurisdiction

The Associated Press

Officer Down

Officer Christopher A. Ridley
Mount Vernon, N.Y.

End of Watch: January 25, 2008

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Mount Vernon Police Commissioner David Chong speaks during a news conference Saturday, in White Plains, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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.

The shooting prompted a visit to White Plains yesterday by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called for a thorough probe.

Ridley attended the same church in Mount Vernon as the chairman of Sharpton's civil rights group.

Speaking to reporters in front of the White Plains police headquarters, Sharpton said he didn't know whether race was a factor in the shooting.

Ridley is black. Authorities did not initially reveal the ethnicity of the officer, or officers, who shot him. Sharpton said he would reserve judgment until the facts are known, and expected investigators to do the same.

"As we are calling on the community not to rush to judgment, the police should not rush to judgment," Sharpton said. "You should not do a 12-hour investigation and say it was a justified shooting."

Nearby, a group of women sobbed, "They killed our baby."

The Rev. William Mizell, associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, said Ridley was single and had no children.

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