Court police cuffed a woman for allegedly trying to smuggle a pistol into Kings County Criminal Court on Thursday.
Officers stopped the 22-year-old suspect at around 10:40 a.m. on July 18, after she attempted to bypass a security checkpoint bearing a handgun loaded with a full magazine of eight hollow point rounds — which are designed to expand on impact, preventing the bullet from exiting the body — in the lobby of the Schermerhorn Street courthouse between Smith Street and Boerum Place, according to a spokeswoman for the New York State Unified Court System.
The court police arrested the suspect and charged her with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, according to the court rep.
The suspect later told authorities that she had intended to bring the firearm to a defendant awaiting arraignment on drug charges at Central Booking, also located in the borough’s criminal court building, the court spokeswoman said.
“This is outstanding work by court officers... in taking a very dangerous firearm and hollow-point bullets off the streets,” said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration. “The prevalence of these handguns and the impunity with which they are carried around cannot be overstated.”
The Legal Aid Society — a non-profit legal services provider who is representing the defendant in this case — disputes the authorities recounting of the events, saying that the suspect claimed simply “I did not know the gun was in the bag.”
The arrest comes just a weak after police brass began publicly sparring with the Brooklyn District Attorney over gun prosecutions in the borough.
On July 8, Chief of Department Terence Monahan blamed the prosecutor’s youth diversion program — which allows some weapons-possession offenders to avoid prison time — for the uptick in gun violence in certain parts of the borough, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Crown Heights, and East New York.
The District Attorney’s Office hit back, arguing that the program decreases violence and reduces the school-to-prison pipeline in Brooklyn — where shootings are down borough wide.
“[The program] has been utilized by the Brooklyn DA’s Office for over a decade, corresponding with a steady decline in shootings, which reached a historical low in 2017, the year with the most diversion admissions to date,” a spokesman for Gonzalez said on July 11.