An expert medical examiner has corroborated witness accounts that Gideon Busch was not charging at police when they shot him to death in a controversial August 1999 incident in Borough Park, recent court documents reveal.
Suffolk County Medical Examiner Charles Wetli, who is to testify for New York City in a civil suit this fall, told lawyers for both sides during a deposition that the hammer-wielding Busch was "standing straight when he was first shot and his upper right arm was close to his chest."
The revelation, first reported Monday in the Daily News, appears to be a setback to city lawyers who will argue that four cops had no choice but to shoot Busch because he tried to hit them with the hammer when they responded to a quality-of-life complaint at his basement apartment.
"We think it’s a significant, positive piece of evidence which contradicts the police version," said Myron Beldock, the attorney for the Busch family.
Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the development bolstered his call for a new investigation of the shooting. "Clearly there was no malicious intent in the shooting of Gideon Busch," said Hikind. "[But] the time has come for an independent investigation to dispel the taint of the cover-up and to finally reveal the truth."
No trial date is set for the civil suit in Brooklyn Federal Court, but a pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.