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Bosnian national pleads guilty to Flatbush attack on NYPD officers

March 16, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Dzenan Camovic pleaded guilty Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court to robbing an NYPD officer’s firearm and discharging the firearm at NYPD officers during the course of the robbery. 

The offenses took place on June 3, 2020, when Camovic attacked multiple police officers on patrol in Brooklyn. The proceedings were held before United States District Judge Rachel P. Kovner.

As related in court documents, on the evening of June 3, 2020, in the midst of a public health emergency and while New York City was under a nightly curfew order due to civil unrest, Camovic attacked several uniformed NYPD officers assigned to an anti-looting post near the intersection of Flatbush and Church Avenues in Brooklyn. 

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At approximately 11:30 p.m., Camovic walked past two police officers on foot patrol and appeared to crouch for several minutes watching them. He then moved around the block in an apparent effort to approach the two police officers from behind. 

At approximately 11:50 p.m., Camovic rounded the corner from Flatbush Avenue onto Church Avenue and stabbed one of the officers (“Officer 1”) in the neck with a knife. After stabbing Officer 1, Camovic chased the second officer (“Officer 2”), lunging at him and attempting to stab him. 

Camovic then ran back to Officer 1, attacked him, grabbed Officer 1’s firearm and fired multiple shots at Officer 2 and other officers who responded to the scene. Responding officers ultimately shot Camovic and took him into custody. Several officers suffered injuries during Camovic’s attack and robbery, including Officer 1, who was stabbed in the neck, and Officer 2, who was shot in the hand.

During his attack on the police officers, Camovic repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic phrase meaning “God is the greatest,” which has been used by perpetrators of violent jihadist terror attacks during the commission of their attacks. Before the attack, Camovic possessed a significant volume of radical jihadist propaganda. 

When sentenced, Camovic faces 30 years’ imprisonment. As part of his plea agreement, Camovic, a Bosnian citizen illegally in the United States, agreed to an order of removal so that he will be deported after completing his sentence. Camovic also pleaded guilty Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn to charges arising out of the same incident.

Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, FBI, New York Field Office; and Keechant Sewell, commissioner, NYPD, announced the guilty plea.

“With this guilty plea, Camovic admitted robbing a police officer’s gun and shooting that gun during an extremely violent attack on officers keeping the city safe during a public emergency,” said U.S. Attorney Peace.  “Inspired by terrorists, the defendant viciously attacked officers, stabbing one officer in the neck and shooting another in the hand. Protecting our community from terrorist attacks will always be a priority of this office.”

“When Mr. Camovic ambushed and feloniously assaulted several heroic NYPD officers, it was also an attack on our city and our collective sense of security.  Yesterday’s plea ensures Mr. Camovic will never again be in a position to commit such a heinous act on our soil.  His case should serve as an example of the FBI’s unwavering commitment to protecting our communities against extremists, while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our law enforcement partners,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Craig R. Heeren, Artie McConnell and Josh Hafetz are in charge of the prosecution.

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