Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly joins Officers Dawn Ortiz (2nd from left) and India Archie at award rite.
Two cops honored after the fatal shooting of a crazed man who was waving a metal chair have been slapped with disciplinary charges in the incident.
Officers Dawn Ortiz and India Archie were each commended as "Cop of the Year" by the NYPD Holy Name Society - at a ceremony Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly attended.
Kelly even posed for pictures with the proud cops and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
Now they face a department trial for failing to first use a baton or pepper spray before Ortiz fired the single shot that killed Gilberto Blanco, a 45-year-old emotionally disturbed man.
"I am confident that the police commissioner will immediately resolve this apparent conflict within the department's original position," Archie's lawyer Eric Sanders said.
A panel of three high-ranking cops reviewed the Brooklyn shooting and found no violation of NYPD guidelines - yet recommended retraining in "less-than-lethal devices dealing with persons with dangerous instruments."
The cops were each hit with a command discipline, with penalties ranging from a verbal reprimand to the loss of up to 10 vacation days. When they refused to accept the discipline, arguing they acted properly, they were slapped with more serious formal charges.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the shooting was within department guidelines, but the disciplinary charges touch on "the question of tactics employed beforehand."
Ortiz and Archie were on truancy duty at a Coney Island church Nov. 13, 2008, when a building superintendent told them Blanco was trying to break into a car in the parking lot.
He was swinging a chair when they confronted him. They ordered Blanco in English and Spanish to drop the chair, then retreated - which cops are not obligated to do - when he charged at them in several "quick bursts," according to the report written by Capt. Richard DiBlasio.
Blanco, who was homeless, had been depressed because he had been unable to find construction work, his brother said at the time.
"When he was approximately 1 foot away, he began to swing the chair down towards [Ortiz's] head....The officer stated that it was at this point that she avoided being struck with the chair by discharging one round at the male," DiBlasio wrote.
The captain added it is "uncertain" if pepper spray or a baton would have subdued Blanco.
Blanco's estate has filed suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court, accusing Ortiz of "wanton disregard for the safety, health and well-being of the decedent