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Rookie cop charged with reckless assault: DA

Jeffrey Rivera, 23, who lives in Jamaica and was assigned to the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, was charged with reckless assault, evidence tampering and making a false report for reporting that the gun went off while he was cleaning it, Brown said.

"The defendant - a recent Police Academy graduate - is alleged to have recklessly shot and seriously injured his girlfriend's 18-year-old sister and then to have tried to deceive detectives by disassembling the weapon, telephoning 911 and falsely reporting that the weapon had accidently discharged during cleaning," Brown said in a statement. "Fortunately, the victim survived her brush with death."

Rivera, who joined the 70th Precinct in January, was showing his 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol to two of his friends as they were hanging out in a friend's kitchen at 107-49 100th St. about 2:30 a.m. last Thursday, Brown said.

The gun was pointed in the direction of Justina Dias, 18, whose sister is Rivera's girlfriend, when it fired, striking Dias in the chest.

Dias was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and listed in guarded condition, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, after the gun discharged, Rivera called 911 and allegedly told operators that he was a police officer and he was cleaning the weapon when it accidentally went off and shot Dias, Brown said.

Later that day, police carried out a search warrant and found the gun disassembled as if Rivera was cleaning it, but no cleaning materials for the pistol were found, the district attorney said.

Rivera was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and filing a fake report.

He was arraigned in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens Saturday before Judge Robert Raciti, who set bail at $10,000. Rivera faces seven years in prison if convicted of the crimes, Brown said.

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