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Queens man shot in ‘99 loses civil suit vs. police

Walter Hickey, 41 of Queens Village sued the police, claiming two officers resorted to using excessive force when they shot him in the abdomen on Feb. 23, 1999 after his ex-wife had called 911 following a domestic dispute at Hickey's home at 90-52 210th Place. His mother, Annie Hickey, contended she was falsely arrested. He sought $1 million in damages and his mother $200,000, according to the New York City Law Department. In their defense against the suit, city attorneys played videotapes that showed Annie Hickey giving a voluntary statement to police in which she indicated that the officers had acted properly, the Law Department said.Following a three-week trial, a jury in federal court in Manhattan sided with the city on all points, the Law Department said last Thursday.The Hickeys' attorney, Dan Turner, could not be reached for comment. Following the shooting, conflicting stories about what happened came from the police and Hickey's mother. Police maintained Hickey's ex-wife, Christine Brown, had called 911 four times in the course of the night on Feb. 23, 1999 and when two officers from the 105th Precinct arrived, Hickey was being restrained by his mother and shouting, "I want to die. I'll kill anybody else here." "The officers were told he was going to kill them," said former Deputy Inspector William Morris at a 105th Precinct Community Council meeting following the shooting back in 1999. Morris then said Hickey broke free from his mother's grip, reached into his waistband and pulled out a dark object and dropped into a shooting stance with the object in his hand, the TimesLedger reported. Police drew their guns and pointed them at Hickey before firing two shots, including one that hit Hickey in the abdomen, according to Morris. The object turned out to be a cell phone, which Morris said was an older type whose "antenna doesn't retract all the way" and could have made it look like a gun. Hickey was treated at Jamaica Hospital and later released. Hickey's mother told the TimesLedger after the shooting that her son did not deserve to be shot. "They can say anything they want, but I'm his mother and I know what happened," Annie Hickey said. "He shouldn't have been shot." Alton Waldon, who was a state senator representing St. Albans at the time of the shooting, said he could not vouch for the truth of the statements made by Annie Hickey, but after the incident he gave a drastically different version of the events that took place . Waldon said Annie Hickey told him her son never dropped into a shooting stance and was shot by police while still being restrained by her as she pleaded with police not to shoot her son. Waldon also claimed Annie Hickey told him police cuffed her son and dragged him down the steps, his head banging on each step, in addition to kicking him in the head. Police declined to comment on Annie Hickey's account of what happened after Waldon's comments were made public in 1999. Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 173.

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