Greensboro, NC-- Days after the New York Police Department lost a veteran officer, fingers were being pointed at Greensboro, the hometown of the suspect.
That's because, Police in New York said they contacted Greensboro Police on two occasions about warrants on the suspect accused of killing the officer, Lamont Pride.
In their first call, police in New York said someone with the Greensboro Police Dept. said the warrant on Pride was for in state extradition only. They claim by the time GPD amended the warrant on Nov 8, Pride had been released. Pride didn't show up for his Nov 15 hearing and on Monday, December 12 he was arrested and charged with killing NYPD Officer, Peter Figoski.
WFMY News 2 received this statement from NYPD Commissioner Paul Browne about communication with GPD on Pride:
Pride was arrested in NYC on Nov 3 on a crack cocaine charge. We ran him and found he was wanted in NC on weapon assault charges but the NC warrant specified "extradite within the state of North Carolina only." NYPD contacted NC authorities and suggested that they change the warrant to extradite him since we had him in custody on charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell, a felony. NC initially said no. At arraignment, Pride was RORed. On Nov 8 - after apparently reconsidering - NC amended the warrant to allow for extradition from NY. He was in the wind by then. A fugitive task force hunted unsuccessfully for him . Pride then failed to appear for his Nov 15 hearing in NY, for which another warrant was issued.
Paul J. Browne
New York City Police Department
Wednesday evening, Greensboro Police said they completed their review of their actions related to the Lamont Pride Case and released this information:
Everyone is affected by the death of a police officer, and we all want answers as to why such an event occurred," said Police Chief Ken Miller. "As this situation rapidly unfolded, we shared the concern that a potential breakdown in the system may have contributed to the tragic death of New York City Police Officer Figoski on Monday," said Miller. "We conducted a thorough review of our records, and had in-depth interviews with our employees. This review indicates that people performed their duties appropriately and in accordance with established protocols."
On Aug. 5 Greensboro police responded to a shooting on Holden Road. Preliminary investigation disclosed that Rayshawn Mayberson was involved in an altercation with three unknown males in the parking lot of the residential complex. One of the males produced a handgun and shot Mayberson in the foot.
Further investigation linked Lamont Pride to the shooting. Upon obtaining probable cause, Greensboro Police secured an arrest warrant on Sept. 23 for Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury, and Felony Conspiracy.
After additional investigation, Greensboro Police obtained a second warrant on Sep. 26 for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon for the same incident.
Both of these warrants were for in-state extradition only. The Guilford County, NC District Attorney, in coordination with the police, evaluates the circumstances of each case when determining what level of extradition is warranted. The investigating officer consulted with a staff member from the DA's office and determined that in-state extradition was appropriate and reasonable. This decision was reached after determining that Pride did not possess any indicators of being a flight risk, and could be found locally.
Employees from the GPD Records section entered the warrant information into a national criminal database to alert law enforcement officials across the country of Pride's wanted status, and that he was possibly armed and dangerous. The initial entries were made at 11:25 a.m. on Sep. 23. The additional warrant was entered into the national database on Sep. 26, and was embedded under the original warrant entry.
Officers from the Greensboro Police Department continued to actively attempt to locate Pride. The investigating detective coordinated with the department's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team to assist in locating and apprehending the suspect.
A review of the Records Section phone records reveals only one in-bound call from New York City on Sep. 23. This call lasted 39 seconds. A return call to this number revealed that this number belonged to a cellular phone and had been changed. Calls to the new number went to a generic voice mail, therefore we cannot confirm that it is associated with this matter.
At 10:44 pm on Nov. 3 an officer from NYPD called the GPD Records Section and advised that Pride was in custody and inquired about the extradition order. The clerk reviewed original records and confirmed that extradition was in-state only.
At 1:43 p.m. on Nov. 8, an officer from New York City Police Department contacted the Greensboro Police Department Records Section inquiring about the extradition status on Pride. The officer asked if the no extradition warrant was still valid. Believing that Pride was in or about to be in the custody of NYPD, the Records employee contacted the detective assigned to the case, who in turn made contact with the NYPD officer and discussed changing the extradition status. At this time, the GPD detective coordinated with the Guilford County District Attorney to amend the warrant to include full extradition from any state to NC. The change in status in extradition was entered into the national database at 3:08 p.m. that day.
The Records employee called the NYPD officer at 3:10 p.m. and the King County District Attorney's Office 3:13 p.m. advising of this change. After learning that Pride was no longer in NYPD custody, the investigating detective called the King County DA's office on Nov. 9 to learn about the circumstances which resulted in Pride being released from custody. The investigating officer then requested the assistance of the US Marshals' Violent Fugitive Task Force in locating Pride.
The US Marshals had coordinated with NYPD in their efforts to locate and extradite Pride before the fatal shooting occurred.
"We continue to mourn the loss of Officer Figoski, and extend our sincerest condolences to the NYPD and the Figoski family," Miller concluded. "And we concur with the NYPD's position that the person responsible for the death of Officer Figoski is the person who pulled the trigger."