NEW YORK – A prisoner enraged by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by undercover detectives tried to hire someone to behead the New York Police Department commissioner and bomb police headquarters for $65,000, authorities said.
David Brown, 47, was arrested Monday on a charge of criminal solicitation after he offered an undercover officer the payout to kill Commissioner Raymond Kelly and blow up One Police Plaza, said Paul J. Browne, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information.
"I want his head chopped off," Brown allegedly told the undercover officer in a taped conversation.
Police said Brown was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Brown, currently behind bars on a separate charge, asked a man to contact someone who was willing to undertake the contract killing. That led to the undercover officer making contact with Brown, who promised to pay $15,000 for the hit and another $50,000 for the bombing, police said.
Police said that in two taped telephone conversations and one meeting that took place at Rikers Island prison in late February, Brown told the undercover officer that he was "fed up with the case where the guy got shot 50 times."
Brown was referring to Sean Bell, the 23-year-old man whom police shot to death on his wedding day in November. Two of Bell's friends were also shot but survived with serious injuries. Police have said 50 shots were fired in the incident.
The three men had been leaving Bell's bachelor party at a bar, where police had launched an undercover operation in response to complaints about prostitution. Lawyers for the officers have said that their clients thought Bell and his friends were going to get a gun and that Bell's car bumped an officer and hit an unmarked police minivan before the gunfire started.
Bell was black, as are his friends wounded in the shooting. Two of the officers are black and two are white. All have been removed from duty and put on paid leave.
A grand jury is considering possible charges against the five officers involved. Two of the officers testified before a grand jury Monday.
In the taped conversations, police said Brown blamed Kelly for not taking the "initiative to prosecute the officers. That kind of got me frustrated to the point where I want him murdered."
Police did not have the name of Brown's lawyer.
Brown was convicted in 2001 of trying to kill his wife and is serving time for violation of an order of protection for the same woman. He has been convicted previously on 30 charges — 14 of them felonies that included five violent crimes.
"He has nothing against the police," Brown's sister, Marilyn, told the Daily News in Tuesday's edition. "He would never hurt an officer. That's not him. This is a shock to me," she added.