In the hours after veteran NYPD officer Peter Figoski was killed with a point-blank shot to the face in mid-December, accused gunman Lamont Pride confessed on videotape to pulling the trigger as he fearfully tried to escape the scene of a drug deal gone bad. Only 27-year-old Pride said that he fired the fatal shot by accident, the result of leaving his finger on the trigger when he clutched his hand to run away.
Pride’s goal for the admission: leniency.
The videotaped interviews were obtained by NBC New York and posted in three parts.
“The reason I decided to come forward with everything is I need to help myself out of this situation,” Pride says in the video. “I’m not gonna get out of it. I know I’m gonna do some type of crime. I’m not trying to do the max.”
Pride is right. Unless he wasn’t Mirandized, or was coerced into the admission, he’ll be doing time. And in such a high-profile case that drew the attention of Mayor Bloomberg and brought together about 10,000 somber officers for the funeral, Pride is not exactly a candidate for a sweetheart plea offer. Pride was already wanted in connection with a shooting in North Carolina at the time of the incident, and had been charged in New York a month earlier with crack-cocaine possession and child endangerment.
The videotaped interviews between Pride and a prosecutor, one of which is posted below, are dark but fascinating. Pride nonchalantly describes the terrifying moments before Figoski is killed as if he’s recounting a foggy dream. Pride appears detached. He’s certainly not remorseful.
Along with four others charged in the robbery turned murder, Pride has pleaded not guilty.