THE BRONX - A traffic officer was convicted of second-degree manslaughter Friday in the deadly shooting of a Bronx man two years ago.
Raphael Lora, 38, was found guilty of killing Fermin Arzu, 41, in May of 2007 after Arzu crashed his minivan into a parked car outside the officer's house. Lora claimed Arzu reached into his glove compartment and then hit him in the face.
Lora was initially charged with first-degree manslaughter, but last month the charges against him were reduced to second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Lora could face probation or five to 15 years behind bars.
After the judge delivered the verdict at the Bronx County Hall of Justice, the victim's two children said they are hopeful that Lora will receive the maximum punishment.
"He left me and my brother alone, without a father," said Katherine Arzu. "He has a family. Even though he's going to jail, they could go visit him in jail."
However, PBA President Pat Lynch said he was disappointed with the guilty verdict.
"This sends a message to every New York City police officer, when they hang their uniform in that locker, it sends the message of 'walk on by,'" he said.