Brooklyn Police Chief Mark Tenaglia better hope he doesn’t have an armed stand-down go awry in the coming years. Some of his 35 officers might feel they’ve got a license to go all Deer Hunter on the perps.
Scene recently obtained a copy of an e-mail that Tenaglia forwarded to to all of his staff using the city’s email network on March 2. The message he forwarded — under the subject line "You'll love it" — praises the 2006 retribution killing of Angelo Freeman by SWAT members of the Polk County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department. Freeman had fatally shot a deputy and a police dog, and wounded another deputy. When they found him hiding in the woods, the SWAT officers fired 110 shots, hitting Freeman 68 times.
"Gotta admire the man for being honest," the e-mail begins, referring to this: “Naturally, the media asked why they shot him 68 times. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, told the Orlando Sentinel: “That’s all the bullets we had!!” (Talk about an all-time classic answer!!!) Justice served. Bullets are much cheaper than 40 years of meals, cable and civil rights."
(Judd’s full quote in the Sentinel was: “That’s all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more.”)
After three days of messages from Scene, Tenaglia finally called back. He noted that he hadn't written the e-mail, just forwarded it, and quipped, “Somebody’s disgruntled with me here, huh?” No doubt.
In the interview, Tenaglia called Sheriff Judd’s comment about the shooting “a sad commentary," adding, "You may feel that but you don’t publicize something like that to the media.” Regarding forwarding the e-mail to his officers, Tenaglia said, “They can read into it whatever they want."
Mayor Ken Patton was miraculously in meetings all day for three days and didn’t return calls. — Dan Harkins