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New York attorney general won't charge Suffolk County cop involved in fatal shooting

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees.
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File photo of New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees.

New York Attorney General Letitia James will not bring charges against a Suffolk County police officer who shot and killed a man in Manorville last year.

In May 2021, after neighbors called 9-1-1, Officer James Skidmore woke Jesse Bonsignore who was sleeping in his car. According to the attorney general’s report, Skidmore told Bonsignore to stay in his car while he called for backup. The report said Bonsignore got out of the car and reached for a pocket knife in his waistband. During a struggle for officer Skidmore’s gun, Skidmore shot.

In its report, the Office of Special Investigation said it conducted civilian interviews, reviewed civilian security video, radio and 9-1-1 audio and a firearm analysis. Skidmore was not wearing a body camera and his cruiser did not have a dashboard camera. The report concluded that had Skidmore been wearing a body camera, there would have been a clearer picture of the incident.

Suffolk County began rolling out its body camera program two months ago. At the time, officials expected all officers to be wearing cameras by the end of 2022.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.