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Brooklyn Judge's Prior Decision To Release Accused Cop Killer Questioned

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A decision by a Brooklyn judge earlier this year to release the man now charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of a city police officer is drawing reaction from elected officials.

Investigators say Lamont Pride, 27, had an outstanding warrant in connection with a separate shooting in North Carolina.

He was picked up in the city on a drug charge in November, but Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Evelyn Laporte released him on his own recognizance.

Officials say authorities in North Carolina at first did not issue an out-of-state warrant. They say by the time the warrant was changed, Laporte had already released.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the criminal court justice of not doing enough to protect the public while Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes -- whose lawyers pushed for bail in the case -- says Laporte made her decision based on what she knew.

He says if authorities in North Carolina thought Pride was a threat, they should have issued a different type of warrant

"It was her understanding of the circumstances that she didn't think bail was appropriate. We disagreed. And as you indicated, we strenuously disagreed. But she ultimately made the call. But I'm not going to criticize her because it's easy to do that. I mean I think overall she's a very, very good judge," Hynes said.

"If you're talking about somebody who, a rap sheet in front of you shows, is potentially a dangerous person, has a gun, has a criminal history. Common sense says don't let him out until you make one phone call. It's not a lot of work to do to protect the public. It was not done," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration is defending the decision, saying it's not productive to wage a debate.

Four other men are facing second degree murder charges in connection with the death of Officer Peter Figoski, 47.

He was killed early Monday morning while responding to a robbery call in Cypress Hills.

A funeral is set for Monday on Long Island.

Meantime, a college fund has been set up for Figoski's four daughters.

On Thursday, the Silver Shield Foundation announced it has earmarked $80,000 to help the family pay for education related costs.

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