Syracuse Father's Day riot suspects found not guilty

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Six people accused of participating in a riot surrounding an officer involved shooting on Syracuse’s Near Westside were found not guilty on Friday.

A NewsChannel 9 reporter indicated that cheers in the courtroom could be heard – and observers hurled disparaging remarks at law enforcement – when the verdict was delivered.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick was in New York City, but he offered NewsChannel 9 a statement via email:

My position is that I absolutely respect the jury's decision but at the same time am concerned about the message it sends. Each defendant should now be on notice that when he reoffends, and they all will, that the Syracuse Police Department and the DAs Office will be there to greet them.

Fitzpatrick also praised the conduct of Syracuse Police the night of the incident.

The men and women of the Syracuse Police Department and their Chief performed magnificently that night and their actions prevented the loss of innocent lives. I'm not sure what the jurors saw that resulted in this verdict but no other Department could have handled this situation more professionally.

Luis Reyes, Jamie Crawford, Elonzo Wilson, Arthur King Jr., Arthur Hunter, and Takim Hawkins were all found not guilty.


Police were responding to a shots-fired complaint when the incident erupted during a barbecue in a neighborhood near Skiddy Park.

According to Fitzpatrick, the partiers shouted “Let it rain on the pigs” and said “We have guns too.”

The DA said one officer, Kelsey Francemone, was harassed by those in the crowd.

Francemone was exonerated in the shooting death of 41-year-old Gary Porter.

According to investigators, Porter was firing a gun before he was shot.

None of the men who were acquitted on Friday faced gun or assault charges – but prosecutors say that in the minutes following the officer-involved shooting, rocks and bottles were thrown at police.

Police were responding to a shots-fired complaint when the incident erupted during a barbecue in a neighborhood near Skiddy Park.

 


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