Prosecutor: Cop Shot Bicyclist In Head

An undercover narcotics officer shot an unarmed man in the back of the head from a foot away as the man tried to escape arrest on a bicycle, a prosecutor said Friday.

The slaying touched off two nights of violent clashes between police and angry residents.

Homicide Lt. Gary Pisciotto on Thursday corroborated witness accounts that 28-year-old William Hankston was trying to pedal away Wednesday when the officer, Jessie Washington, opened fire. Hankston died the next day.

Medical examiners determined that the gun was fired one foot from Hankston’s head, District Attorney Arlo Smith said Friday.

The finding “doesn’t explain what occurred,” Smith said. “There’s still a lot of unanswered questions.”

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