DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The father of a young teen shot dead in 1994 by an NYPD officer who mistook the boy’s toy rifle for an actual gun stood outside Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s office Wednesday to demand prosecutors make good on their pledge to thoroughly reinvestigate the shooting.
“I myself am very upset and really losing a lot of faith and trust in the matter in which this office here now call themselves doing an investigation,” said Nicholas Heyward, Sr., whose son Nicholas Heyward, Jr. was fatally shot by NYPD Housing officer Brian George in the Gowanus Houses.
Former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes declined for years to pursue the investigation, but Thompson has vowed that his office would take another look at the case to see if George should be brought up on criminal charges, despite the fact that the statute of limitations has already passed.
But Heyward, Sr. said he’d like to see some progress and argued George should be charged with murder.
“(It) doesn’t resemble anything close to a real weapon,” he said of the toy gun. “When Nicholas came in contact with this officer, he dropped this plastic toy gun.”
Heyward, Sr. was joined by about two dozen other protesters Wednesday who chanted, “Justice for Nicholas Heyward.”
“Nicholas Heyward, Jr. should be alive today, should be grown up,” said Assemblyman Charles Barron. “We should be celebrating him going to college and achieving things in life. But no, we have to come out here for this.”
The DA's office said the investigation into the shooting is still active.
“In reopening this case last year, our office has and will continue to work closely with Mr. Heyward to complete a thorough and fair investigation," a spokesman said.