iStock/Graffizone(NEW YORK) — A former New York City police officer was indicted for attempting to cover up a crime scene after shooting a man in the face, multiple sources confirmed to ABC News.Ritchard Blake turned himself in to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office on Friday and is expected to get arraigned on two counts of tampering with physical evidence charges, sources said.Blake, 41, allegedly got into an altercation with Thavone Santana during the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 2, 2018 and fired two shots. One of the bullets burrowed through Santana’s face and landed in his neck where it remains, according to a federal civil lawsuit he filed in January.After the shooting, Blake allegedly told 911 he opened fired in self-defense because he was being robbed. The following day, video surveillance showed a different story, an internal investigation was launched and Blake was fired from the force.Blake is not charged in the shooting itself but in the cover-up after police said he hovered over Santana, noticed the security cameras on a lamppost and planted a knife on the victim.A law enforcement source told ABC News that “all the evidence was presented to the grand jury and they found that the shooting was justified.”According to the lawsuit, Blake has a history of violence.“Sgt. Blake has a prominent and long history of violence, assaults and was the subject of Internal Affairs investigations of his actions in 2010, 2011 and 2016 and was disciplined for his violations of NYPD Policies.”Request for comment by ABC News from Blake’s attorney Abe George was not immediately received.George previously told ABC News his client acted in self-defense and that Santana was the aggressor. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Notre Dame has decided to forgo federal stimulus funds in order for the coronavirus aid to be redistributed to other institutions in need, vice president of public affairs and communications Paul J. Browne said in an email.The Washington Times reported Friday that after Notre Dame declined $6 million in federal aid, the latest school to do so. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin called on other private universities to do the same.According to the article, Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun criticized Notre Dame in a letter to the University, saying the funds should be “redistributed to other schools that have an acute need for these emergency financial aid funds.” University President Fr. John Jenkins replied to Braun in a letter obtained by The Observer, writing, “the University neither sought nor applied for the funds in question.” Regardless of endowment, Jenkins wrote, the U.S. Department of Education created a formula for every college and university in the nation to receive funds.“Also, it is my understanding that the monies not claimed by universities will be automatically returned to the Treasury Department’s general fund,” Jenkins wrote. “Perhaps you can convince the Administration to, instead, as you say, have ‘the stimulus money be redistributed to other schools that have an acute need of emergency financial aid funds.’”As Jenkins initially said, federal funds received by the University for coronavirus relief will be used to aid students whose families are struggling by the loss of a job or another hardship as a result of the pandemic. Browne said in an email that a Student Emergency Relief Fund has been established to provide additional financial aid to students whose families have been hurt financially by the pandemic.“Of course, we expect most of those families to include students who were eligible for financial aid before the pandemic,” Browne said. “Only now, that number is certain to grow because of the pandemic’s economic upheaval.” Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article said Notre Dame is the largest school to decline federal aid when it is the latest to do so. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: COVID-19, President John Jenkins, Sen. Mike Braun, Stimulus funds