You are reading

Attorney general will not press charges against 101st Precinct cop in 2022 fatal Arverne shooting

Oct. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Oct. 27 that her office would not press charges against a cop out of the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway in the fatal shooting of an ex-con during a foot chase in Arverne last December.

James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) released a report on Oct. 27 following a “thorough investigation” into the shooting death of 31-year-old Quayshawn Samuel, who was gunned down at the Ocean Bay apartments on the night of Dec. 29, 2022. Following a review of body-worn camera and surveillance video footage, interviews with involved officers and evidence from the scene, OSI concluded that “a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial” that NYPD Officer James Cameron, who shot Samuel, was justified.

Cameron, a four-year veteran of the NYPD with no disciplinary history, another officer and a sergeant from the 101st Precinct’s neighborhood safety team smelled marijuana smoke emanating from the lobby of 439 Beach 56th St. around 8 p.m. and entered to investigate potential criminal activity when they encountered a group of men. Upon seeing the cops, Samuel bolted through the rear doors of the building. Cameron and NYPD Officer Ryan Nohilly pursued him on foot after one of them believed he had a gun. They chased Samuel on foot through the grounds of the apartment complex and across Beach Channel Drive to Beach 56th Street.

According to the DOI report, Cameron ran through the apartment grounds and dropped his radio. Additionally, his body-worn camera (BWC) fell off its mount. Nohilly stopped to pick up Cameron’s radio, which left him farther behind in the foot pursuit. As Samuel crossed Beach Channel Drive, he stumbled and fell, allowing Cameron to catch up to him as he ran into Beach 56th Street. On Beach 56th Street Cameron and Samuel engaged in a physical struggle on the ground, with the cop on top Samuel, who was holding a gun, according to DOI.

After a few seconds, Samuel was able to push himself up off the ground, and as he and Cameron stood up, Cameron saw the gun in Samuel’s hand being raised in his direction. Cameron fired his service weapon at Samuel, striking him in the chest and the leg, according to the DOI report.

A map showing the route of the chase. 1) 439 Beach 54th St.; 2) The area where Samuel fell; 3) The area where the shooting occurred. Photo courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office

EMS rushed them both to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where Samuel was later pronounced dead from his wounds. The NYPD recovered Samuel’s loaded .44-caliber handgun at the crime scene..

The OSI determined that Nohilly arrived at the scene just seconds after the shooting and his body-worn camera showed the gun lying in the street next to Samuel’s hand.

A still image from Officer Nohilly’s body-worn camera shows Samuel on the ground and a pistol next to his hand. Photo courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office

This loaded .44 caliber handgun was recovered next to Quayshawn Samuel’s hand. Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Additionally, Nohilly’s body-worn camera captured Cameron’s statements that he told Samuel to drop the gun.

Under New York’s justification law, a person may use deadly physical force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another person. When the defense of justification is raised at trial, the prosecution must disprove justification beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, Samuel repeatedly refused to drop his gun and had then pointed his gun at the officer. Under these circumstances, based on the law and the evidence, a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer who fired was justified and OSI determined that criminal charges could not be pursued in this matter, according to the AG’s office.

Recent News

Priest imposter who allegedly robbed Queens church arrested in California after nationwide hunt

A bald-headed burglar who allegedly posed as a priest to gain entry to the rectory at American Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Oakland Gardens—before robbing a real reverend of $900—was arrested in California earlier this month.

Malin Rostas, 45, of New York, was arrested by deputies from the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station, which is part of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, on an outstanding burglary warrant out of Pennsylvania. Rostas, believed to be a serial thief, was wanted by jurisdictions across the nation.

Flushing man indicted in fatal collision that killed 10-year-old boy in East Elmhurst last month: DA

A Flushing man was indicted by a Queens grand jury in a fatal collision that killed an 8-year-old boy in East Elmhurst last month.

Jose Barcia, 52, is accused of speeding through a crosswalk while making a left turn, killing Bayron Palomino Arroyo and injuring his 10-year-old brother Bradley on Mar. 13. The grand jury indictment was filed on Apr. 18, and Barcia will be arraigned on May 2, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Glendale man indicted for murder in fatal stabbing of girlfriend at a Maspeth tavern: DA

A Glendale man was indicted by a Queens grand jury for murder and weapons charges for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend at an Irish pub in Maspeth last month.

Marcin Pieciak, 36, of 76th Street, was arraigned Friday in Queens Supreme Court on an indictment charging him with murder for allegedly stabbing Sarah McNally, while she was working as a bartender at The Céilí House—before slitting his own throat.