Bronx, NY – The charges were dropped on Friday against a teen rapper who shot a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer and himself with a stolen gun during a struggle in January.
The New York City Law Department announced on May 20 that Camrin Williams, who goes by the rapper name “C Blu,” “cannot be prosecuted” for the felony gun and assault charges associated for shooting NYPD Officer Kaseem Pennant earlier this year, the New York Post reported.
The city Law Department did not elaborate on why it had determined Williams could not be prosecuted.
“Just because the city cannot prosecute doesn’t mean this individual should have been carrying an illegal weapon — a weapon which contributed to both him and an officer being shot,” the Law Department said in a statement. “Pursuant to Family Court Law, the case is now sealed and we are unable to say more about the matter.”
The head of the biggest police union in the city called the decision not to prosecute Williams for shooting Officer Pennant “absurd,” the New York Post reported.
“This absurd decision should outrage every New Yorker who wants to get illegal guns off our streets,” NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.
“There is no dispute that this individual was caught carrying an illegal gun for the second time. If perps like this face absolutely no consequences, even after shooting a cop, we have to ask: why bother sending us out to get the guns at all?” Lynch asked.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 when uniformed NYPD officers in two unmarked patrol vehicles were working a gang and drug patrol near East 187th Street and Lorillard Place, WCBS reported.
The officers approached a home on Lorillard Place to address a group of disorderly people in front of it.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told WCBS that officers saw a 16-year-old boy near a parked car shoving his hands into his pockets.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Officer Pennant ordered the teen – later identified as Williams – to take his hands out of his pockets.
Williams refused and a struggle ensued during which the teen gang member fired a shot with a handgun that was in his pocket, WCBS reported.
Commissioner Sewell said the teen shot himself in his left groin area, and then the bullet traveled through Williams and hit Officer Pennant in his right leg.
Investigators discovered that the weapon the teen shot Officer Pennant with had been reported stolen in South Carolina in October of 2020, WCBS reported.
Williams, who was put on probation just a month earlier in connection with a separate 2020 gun case, was initially charged with attempted murder, the New York Post reported.
But prosecutors ultimately arraigned him on felony weapons and assault charges.
Investigators said Williams is a member of the Reyway crew, which is a subset of the Crips gang, according to the New York Daily News.
He was held in custody at the Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brooklyn in lieu of a $250,000 bond, the New York Post reported.
Prosecutors had asked that the known gang member be held without bond but Bronx Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle disagreed.
Boyle has previously been accused of being too lenient with juvenile offenders, the New York Post reported.
Williams had recently signed a deal as a rap artist with Interscope Records which promised the teen a several hundred thousand dollar advance.
Sources told the New York Post that Williams’ family had pulled together the $15,000 cash required by the court and had used the teen’s promised record contract advance to secure a $200,000 bond from Ira Judelson, a celebrity bail bondsman.
Judelson has bonded out Ja Rule, DMX, and Harvey Weinstein in the past.
Dawn Florio, Williams’ defense attorney, called the officers who stopped her client the night he shot Officer Pennant the “hip hop police” and said they targeted him because he is “famous,” the New York Post reported.
“They went straight for him,” Florio said. “They knew who he was. He’s famous. He’s an artist.”
“They knew he had a gun arrest before in that precinct. A hunch isn’t enough to stop someone,” she insisted.
Florio is best known for having represented rapper Tekashi69 in his gang-related case, the New York Post reported.