By Sandy Malone and Holly Matkin
Bronx, NY – The 16-year-old gang member who shot a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer in Belmont last week used money from a new record deal to post bond on Thursday.
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 an officer ordered the teen – later identified as 16-year-old Camrin 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 NYPD Officer Kaseem 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 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.”
Williams performs raps under the name “C Blu,” the New York Post reported.
“They knew he had a gun arrest before in that precinct. A hunch isn’t enough to stop someone,” his attorney insisted.
Florio is best known for having represented rapper Tekashi69 in his gang-related case, the New York Post reported.
The police union was furious that Williams was released and pointed the blame directly at the judge, the New York Post reported.
“If anybody wants to know why we have a crisis of violence in this city, or why we’re about to bury two hero police officers, look no further than this disgraceful bail release,” NYPD Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said in a statement.
“This individual chose to carry illegal guns twice,” Lynch said. “He chose to fight with and shoot a New York City police officer. There’s no reason to believe he won’t do the exact same thing when he’s out on the street tonight.”
“Shame on Judge Denis Boyle for allowing this to happen. The people of the Bronx won’t be safe as long as he’s on the bench,” the union boss added.