Ex-NYPD cop who shot rival while off duty charged with tampering with evidence

Former NYPD cop who shot rival charged with tampering with evidence

NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) - Former NYPD Sgt. Richard Blake pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of tampering with evidence in a New York court Friday.

Last August, the 40-year-old was off duty when he shot 21-year-old Thavone Santana in his chin, in East New York.

At the time Blake claimed he acted in self-defense and believed Santana was trying to rob him.

But sources said the two men knew each other and had been previously fighting over a woman.

Surveillance video showed Santana had been following Blake with his hand in his pocket.

After the shooting, Blake called 911 and was seen on surveillance video taking a knife out of his own pocket and placing it on the ground next to Santana. Then Blake noticed surveillance cameras pointed at him and immediately picked the knife up and put it back in his pocket.

Blake was fired from the NYPD, but exonerated for the shooting by a grand jury who determined the shooting was justified.

"My client did not testify in the grand jury that's why you see he charges remaining regards to tampering but when they hear my clients side of the story at the jury trial I'm confident he'll be exonerated of all charges," said Blake’s defense attorney Abe George.

Copyright 2019 WCBS via CNN. All rights reserved.