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Five Plead Not Guilty In NYPD Officer's Death

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One day after a city police officer shot and killed in the line of duty was laid to rest, the five men charged in his death pled not guilty in Brooklyn court.

Lamont Pride, 27; Kevin Santos, 30; Ariel Tejada, 22; Nelson Moralez, 27; and Michael Velez, 21, were formally arraigned on their indictments Tuesday afternoon.

All five are charged with murder in the death of Officer Peter Figoski, 47.

Investigators say he was shot in the face by Pride during a botched robbery attempt in Cypress Hills last Monday.

Speaking to reporters, law enforcement officials said no mercy will be shown towards the accused men and that there is no chance of a plea bargain.

"We want to public to understand that we regard the murder of a police officer as one of the most serious cases this office ever has," said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

"Prosecution is so important in this case, we can't give back the life of Officer Figoski to his family, but we can see to it, and I know the district attorney will, that some measure of justice is given to the family," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Attorneys for the accused say they will fight the charges and they question if those who were with Pride should be facing murder charges.

"The felony murder statute is fair. Whether my client belongs in this felony murder indictment we'll see," said Morales' attorney, Wayne Bodden.

"We will present our defense and we will do what we have to do," said Velez's attorney Marvin Weinroth.

Family, friends and thousands of fellow police officers gathered on Long Island on Monday to say their final goodbyes to the 22-year NYPD veteran.

While delivering his eulogy remarks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Figoski -- who leaves behind four daughters -- died helping to keep the city safe.

"It's incomprehensible that someone like Pete who gave so much to so many could have his life taken from him," said Bloomberg. "But the only thing that does make sense is that on Pete's final run, he was called in as a backup. Because Pete always had your back."

The mayor also said the city promoted Figoski to Detective First Grade, retroactive to last year.

Meanwhile, Figoski's fellow officers say they will do what they have to do and appear in court for every hearing related to the case.

"This state should have a viable death penalty because you can not take evil out of cretins like this. They've killed before. If they'll kill a cop they'll kill anyone," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.

If convicted, Pride faces life in prison without any chance of parole.

The four other men face 25 years to life.

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