Attorney General James’ Office of Special Investigation Releases Report on Death of Mike Rosado
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) released its report on the death of Mike Rosado in the Bronx. Following a thorough investigation, which included review of footage from security cameras, interviews with witnesses, and evidence from the scene, OSI concluded that a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that the officer who shot Mr. Rosado was justified.
In the early morning hours of August 29, 2021, two New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers were in the parking lot after their shifts had ended when they noticed a group of people gathered outside a store at the intersection of 180th Street and Valentine Avenue in the Bronx. The officers heard a commotion followed by two gunshots, at which point one officer started running towards the group across the street with his gun drawn and the other followed shortly after. As the officers crossed the street, they saw Mr. Rosado with a gun in his hand and ordered him to drop the weapon. Mr. Rosado repeatedly refused to comply, instead stepping toward the first officer and pointing his gun in the officer’s direction. The officer fired his gun in response, striking Mr. Rosado, who dropped the gun as he fell.
Another individual in the group on the corner picked up Mr. Rosado’s gun and began to fire at the officers. The officers returned fire. The individual then gave the gun to a woman, who ran away with the weapon. Mr. Rosado was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers later recovered Mr. Rosado’s gun from the woman who had fled the scene. The individual who picked up Mr. Rosado’s gun and the woman who fled the scene with the gun are being prosecuted by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
Under New York’s justification law, a person may use deadly physical force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another person. When the defense of justification is raised at trial, the prosecution must disprove justification beyond a reasonable doubt.
In this case, Mr. Rosado had just shot his gun in a crowd of civilians and then refused to comply with multiple commands to drop the weapon, instead stepping toward the officers with his gun raised. Under these circumstances, given the law and the evidence, a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that the officer who fired was justified, and OSI determined that criminal charges could not be pursued against the officer.