NEW YORK — A teenager who was convicted of assault for dragging an NYPD officer in a stolen vehicle was sentenced on Wednesday, authorities said.
Justin Murrell was sentenced to 16 months to 4 years in prison, a spokesperson for the District Attorney said.
The sentencing decision was criticized by NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch. O’Neill called it an “absolute disgrace.”
Lynch said Murrell should not have been treated as a child when his decisions were “adult decisions” with life-changing results.
“I warn the city, in four years this potential cop killer will be back on the streets,” he said.
Murrell was 15 when, in June 2017, he dragged NYPD Detective Dalsh Veve.
Veve had responded to a report of gunshots near Tilden Avenue and East 53rd Street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn when the incident occurred.
Police said Veve was across the street speaking to several occupants sitting inside of a black Honda Sedan that was parked in front of a fire hydrant. As three officers continued to speak to people on the scene, the officers suddenly saw Veve being dragged by the sedan, police said.
The vehicle dragged the officer for two and a half blocks before he fell off of the car, officials said. He suffered severe brain damage and was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
The people inside of the sedan continued driving before the car crashed and was abandoned, officials said.
Veve was able to fire off two shots before he fell from the vehicle, police said.
That night Murrell walked into a local Brooklyn hospital in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the face.
Police said they determined Murrell, of Brooklyn, was in the stolen vehicle that dragged Veve, nearly killing the officer. Morrell was arrested and later acquitted of attempted murder.
“Officer Veve’s heroism exemplifies the most courageous duty demanded of our men and women in uniform, the willingness to put one’s self in harm’s way to protect the lives of others. He suffered life-changing injuries due to this defendant’s actions. This defendant had numerous contacts with the criminal justice system and was given numerous opportunities to get on the right path. Yet he has repeatedly proven that he has no regard for the rule of law and is a danger to society. The judge should have therefore imposed the maximum sentence and it is regrettable that she failed to do so. The rule of law, the safety of our police officers and the circumstances of this case demanded a more appropriate penalty,” said a District Attorney spokesperson.