2017-10-25 / Front Page

Trial Opens In Murder Of Queens Cop

By Liz Goff
More than three dozen police officers packed a Queens courtroom on October 20, to hear opening statements in the trial of accused cop killer Demetrius Blackwell.

Benches and a gallery inside Queens Supreme Court were packed to the rafters, while dozens more officers waited outside to hear prosecutors tell in detail how Blackwell gunned down Police Officer Brian Moore – and tried to kill Moore’s partner, Police Officer Eric Jensen in May 2015.

Moore, 25, was shot to death on May 2, 2015 after he and Jensen stopped their unmarked NYPD cruiser on a street in Queens Village to ask Blackwell, a known career criminal, what he had in his waistband, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Saunders said. Moore started to open the car door saying, “Police. You got something?”

“Yeah, I got something,” Blackwell said, pulling the silver gun from his waistband. Blackwell fired, “not once, but twice,” Saunders said, fatally striking Moore in the head and face. He then turned the gun on Jensen as the young cop screamed onto a police radio, desperately seeking help for his fallen partner.

Fellow cops rushed Brian Moore to Jamaica Hospital where the plainclothes cop assigned to the 105th Precinct died two days later, the third NYPD officer executed on the job over a five-month period.

Saunders identified Blackwell as the cold-blooded killer of Police Officer Brian Moore, and opened the case with a pile of evidence including three eyewitnesses, Blackwell’s DNA on the murder weapon, and ballistics that match the murder weapon to

Defense attorney David Bart acknowledged in his opening statement that emotions run high in the case. Bart also questioned the integrity of the DNA evidence, and the reliability of the three eyewitnesses. “This is a complex and difficult case with a lot of emotion overshadowing it,” Bart said. “Yes, it was a bad, bad thing that happened, but you cannot hold and should not hold Mr. Blackwell accountable, because you will find the evidence does not support it.”

Bart told the jury his client suffers from epilepsy and mental health issues, and suggested that brain surgery Blackwell underwent in 2014 negatively affected his client’s day today “equilibrium.”

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, speaking outside the courtroom after the opening statements, blasted Bart and Blackwell. “This is a cold-hearted killer that thought he was a tough guy in the streets…and now hides like a coward behind his attorney,” Lynch said.

Saunders said Blackwell “began to cry,” in the back of a police car after cops arrested him on the night of the murder. Police chased Blackwell through several backyards, catching up with him 90 minutes after the shootings.

Police officials said Moore “dreamed of getting the bad guys off the street. He wanted to make a difference. He had an eye for the street, he loved working the street,” officials said. “He could smell a gun, as they say."

The son of a retired NYPD sergeant, Moore dreamed as a young boy of becoming a cop, officials said. He had taken and passed the NYPD exam when he was just 17 years old.

NYPD Deputy Chief Chaplain Robert Romano told cops, “There is a saying that time heals all wounds. Please, never believe that. As we say in Brooklyn, it ain’t true.

The wounds are always there,” Romano said. “And they’ll always be there.”

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