Philip Lott, a plainclothes officer who was facing an assault charge after a man was shot in the back, was today indicted on one count of manslaughter.
It was announced in Manhattan Criminal Court, where the indictment was reached with the father of Sharif Kayser, the man he is accused of shooting. Assistant District Attorney Louis Turco spoke briefly, reading aloud the charges and asking for Lott’s bail to be set at $100,000 cash or bond. Judge Philip Minardo immediately approved the request, and Lott was released.
Lott’s lawyer, William Petrillo, read from a prepared statement, and told reporters afterwards that his client has deep remorse, and is sad that a young man lost his life, as a result of a traffic incident on Prospect Park West. Petrillo declined to address the charges, and said he didn’t know the details of the case against his client.
“The question is who did it,” Petrillo said. “Who did this?”
Wearing a yellow jumpsuit and striped tie, Lott quickly filed out of the courtroom. Petrillo ran over to pay condolences to Kayser’s father, Ibrahim, who was seated behind him in the front row of the packed courtroom.
Read Petrillo’s full statement below:
The indictment returned today against my client, Officer Philip Lott, is a despicable, criminal act. I have represented black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and other people, but never have I seen such a callous, cowardly and inhuman assault on one of my clients. The underlying charges are pure abuse of process. Lott in the 10 months preceding the incident has been charged with DWI, disorderly conduct, pulling a gun on witnesses, as well as assault. He has answered to these charges, and the complaint of them all, and was found to be innocent. Here we are again, having to defend this accusation and indictment, on a completely baseless basis. The charges are against Officer Lott and the person that he shot, and on whom the indictment was filed. I have no idea what the nature of the evidence or evidence concerning this young man, nor do I have any idea what drew the facts or manner to involve Officer Lott in this ordeal. I do know this — this young man was loved, and was loved by his loved ones. He died an unspeakable death for no good reason. It has no rational basis whatsoever. And we know that as a result of this investigation, there will be prosecutions of policemen as well as civilians. Indeed, this is that time of year, once again. I have not spoken to Lott directly, but I can only express my deepest sorrow, the sadness that a young man lost his life, and the sorrow that a parent must feel. Like other people of all races and creeds, Phil is a public servant, and he will do the job he is asked to do, even in the face of this very sad circumstance. Philip Lott has deep remorse about what has occurred, and would like nothing more than to bring these allegations to an end, to get back to his family, and to keep his job. I know for a fact, for my own clients that being an NYPD officer is a sacred trust. They know that if ever there is a loss of life, it is the person whose life it is, not the cop, who will be held responsible. I know many people around the country and around the world that agree with that, and I am a believer. We will vindicate our client’s name as soon as possible, and Phil will prevail.