Community leaders meet with DA’s office over Thavone Santana shooting

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Senior staff from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office met with community leaders and Thavone Santana’s mother to discuss his slaying at the hands of off-duty police Sgt. Ritchard Blake.

Community leaders expressed cautious optimism following the meeting. They say they want a criminal indictment against Blake, who investigators say shot the 21-year-old Santana early Thursday morning.

Police say Blake claimed Santana threatened him and tried to rob him. Sources tell News 12 that surveillance video contradicts that account.

It appears to show Blake placing a blade or knife next to Santana’s body, and then later picking it back up.

New York State Assemblymen Charles Barron criticized the police response to the shooting.

“Those that we pay to protect us shot her son in the face twice," he said.

A source also told News 12 that Santana and Blake had a history, that they may have been fighting over a woman, and that Blake had been on probation for some sort of domestic incident.

The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association issued a statement saying, “As the investigation progresses, Sgt. Richard Blake is entitled to due process, as is anyone involved in a shooting. It is crucial for the integrity of the law enforcement community, as well as the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, that all of the facts are obtained and thoroughly investigated.”

Sgt. Blake has been stripped of his gun and badge and remains on modified duty.

The meeting was held Friday as Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez was out of town. Community leaders are calling for Blake to be taken off the job immediately and they want to meet with DA Gonzalez when he returns.

Santana’s mother says she wants justice for her family and for her son.

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