New York City Police Commissioner James O’neill celebrates the arrest of a Florida man at the weekend who is accused of shooting and killing an undercover POLICE officer in 1999. The officer, however, is alive and well
(Copyright 2017, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
New York City Police Commissioner James O’neill tweeted his satisfaction after the weekend arrest of a Florida man who O’neill said was accused of shooting and killing an undercover POLICE officer in 1999.
There is only one problem: Vincent Ling, the undercover agent O’neill thought had been killed by the Bronx native, Lester Pearson, is not dead.
Ling of the family came in contact with the New York Daily News at the weekend after their headline, “Cop Killer Caught,” was plastered on the front page next to the mugshot of the 43-year-old Lester Pearson.
“He is alive,” Vincent Ling’s uncle, Thomas Ling, said. “I saw him last year.”
The police publicly identified Pearson as the man who shot Ling in 1999, with more than 20 years after the fact, after discovering that Pearson was living under the name of Michael Davis in Jacksonville, Florida. He had created a whole new life for himself, living with his girlfriend and several children. Pearson had even accrued a fan base of more than 100,000 Instagram followers for his rap persona, Monsta Kodi.
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He had released a song and a documentary called “No More Killing,” which tackle the subject of police shootings of unarmed black men.
Pearson had long been a suspect in Ling’s shoot and even gave himself up to the police in 2000 — but later skipped bail. He and Ling had to strain because Pearson dated Ling sister, and the confrontation between them is thought to have been sparked by that relationship.
The police publicly identified Pearson as the man who shot Ling in 1999, with more than 20 years after the fact, after the discovery that Pearson was living under the name of Michael Davis in Jacksonville, Florida
The police says that the two saw each other while walking down the street in the Bronx and that Pearson pronounced slur on Ling. They began to argue, which lead to 11 shots fired between the two of them, one of which hit Ling of the spine, the authorities say. While in a hospital bed, Ling identified Pearson as his shooter. Because he is an undercover agent, Ling’s name was not released, but the news reports described him as paralyzed by the incident.
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Leng the family refused to media in contact with him, but said that he retired from the force and is thought to still live in the Bronx.
After the arrest of Pearson in the weekend, Commissioner O’neill allegedly tweeted in support of the enforcement of the law for “the capture of the criminal career that killed off-duty #NYPD Officer Vincent Ling in 1999.”
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The tweet was quickly removed, and the NYPD later issued a statement in which it is made clear that Ling is, in fact, in life, and explaining that a “misconception” of the charges against Pearson led to “confusion about [Ling] death,” according to the Washington Post.
“The word ‘attempted’ murder, I think, was not so clearly defined as it should be,” a police spokesman said.