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New York state trooper charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter

In a tragic incident that unfolded in Buffalo last year, a New York state trooper, Anthony Nigro, found himself facing charges of manslaughter after fatally shooting an unarmed motorist. The motorist, James Huber, had refused to exit his vehicle following a high-speed chase.

The Associated Press reported that during his arraignment in Buffalo, Trooper Nigro pleaded not guilty to both first- and second-degree manslaughter charges. Surprisingly, he was released without bail. This case stands out as a rare example of an officer being prosecuted by New York's attorney general, who possesses the authority to investigate instances of lethal force used by law enforcement.

The president of the union representing Trooper Nigro staunchly defended him, claiming that the shooting was justified. However, the trooper's body camera footage, recorded on February 12, 2022, captured the fatal encounter, shedding light on the events that unfolded.

The pursuit began when troopers initially spotted Huber, a resident of North East, Pennsylvania, speeding on Interstate 90 near Buffalo. The chase reached speeds exceeding 100 mph before the pursuing officers decided to discontinue their pursuit. Nevertheless, Trooper Nigro managed to catch up with Huber on a downtown street in Buffalo, effectively blocking his path with his cruiser.

The state attorney general's office released the body camera footage, which reveals Trooper Nigro, a seasoned 16-year veteran of the state police, approaching Huber's vehicle with his gun drawn. He aggressively orders Huber to exit the car, resorting to profanity. Huber, however, turns away from the trooper and defiantly responds with phrases like "Go away," "never," and "nope," as the trooper persistently demands his compliance. Throughout this tense exchange, the trooper's gun remains mere inches away from the motorist's head.

In a moment of heightened tension, Huber places his hand on the car's shifter, seemingly preparing to shift gears. In response, the trooper forcefully pulls on the hood of Huber's sweatshirt before firing two shots. As the car abruptly reverses, briefly dragging the trooper, he falls to the ground.

This tragic incident has raised significant questions about the use of force by law enforcement officers. As the legal proceedings unfold, the public eagerly awaits justice and a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding this devastating loss of life.

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