No Criminal Charges For Suffolk Police Officer Who Shot Enrique Lopez, State Attorney General Says

Enrique Lopez 1

The New York State Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has released a report saying that criminal charges could not be filed against the police officer who shot Enrique Lopez in Medford last year.

According to a news release by OSI, their investigation included reviews of police radio transmissions, interviews with witnesses, and evidence from the scene.

Lopez was shot and killed on Dec. 28, after Suffolk police officers responded to a call saying that Lopez was “acting erratically and threatening to harm his roommate with a fire extinguisher.”

When officers approached Lopez, he pulled out a large knife, Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said at the time.

The officers ordered Lopez to drop the knife, but he lunged and stabbed them, according to the commissioner.

One officer was stabbed in his clavicle, neck and groin area, and the other was stabbed in his chest through his bulletproof vest, and the third officer was treated at a hospital for tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and discharged, officials said.

One of the police officers fired four shots at Lopez, killing him.

“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,” the attorney general’s office said. “When the defense of justification is raised at trial, the prosecution must disprove justification beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, Mr. Lopez was threatening to harm his roommate before he stabbed two police officers. Under these circumstances, based on the law and the evidence, a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer who fired was justified, and OSI determined that criminal charges could not be pursued against the officer.”