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NYC cop found guilty in fatal '07 shooting

April 3, 2009 3:54:57 PM PDT
A judge today issued a guilty verdict against an NYPD officer who shot and killed an unarmed man. Rafael Lora was found convicted of second degree manslaughter for the death of Fermin Arzu.Rafael Lora is now a convicted felon and no longer a police officer.

A judge found him guilty of second degree manslaughter, but not guilty of first degree manslaughter.

His sentence could be anything from probation all the way up to 15 years behind bars.

Fermin Arzu's family walked into the courtroom Friday morning nervous to hear the judge's verdict.

Keep in mind, this was a non-jury trial for off-duty officer Rafael Lora.

The 38-year-old was found guilty of fatally shooting Arzu near his Bronx home in May 2007.

Arzu, 41, crashed his minivan into a parked car outside the officer's Bronx home.

During the bench trial, the officer testified he fired in self-defense when Arzu trapped him with the minivan door and dragged him.

While Arzu's family is happy the officer was convicted but says it'll never be enough.

Victim's daughter Katherine Arzu says "We're happy he was convicted -- but we're not fully happy because he didn't get convicted the he should have been. He left my brother and me lost without our father...His family can visit him in jail."

"This verdict is devastatingly wrong. It send a message when you hang up that uniform in that locker, it sends the message of, just walk on by," PBA president Pat Lynch said.

Arzu's sentencing is set for May 15th

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick

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