It is the duty of the NYPD to protect and defend the innocent on our streets, keeping us all safe and away from harm. Officers also owe a duty to those they are pursuing, however, to uphold their rights and not abuse the power of police authority.
As a New York personal injury attorney that has dealt with many police brutality cases, I understand this obligation of an officer to a citizen. That’s why a recent article from New York Daily News caught my attention, as NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly decided not to fire an officer who wrongfully shot and paralyzed a man.
According to the article, Kelly rejected an NYPD judge’s recommendation to fire the Brooklyn officer. The commissioner agreed with the judge’s ruling that the officer did violate department guidelines on July 21, 2008, but would not need to be dismissed from the force.
Instead, Kelly ordered that the officer again be placed on full duty, only without a firearm.
To recap the incident, the victim, Amhad Evans was found hiding under a van. He was wanted for violating an ex-girlfriend’s order of protection. As he began to crawl out from under the van, the officer shot him in the back, squarely between the shoulder blades.
Evans is now paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
The NYPD review board found that the officer used deadly physical force without having probable cause to believe he must protect himself or another from imminent death or serious physical danger.
This case shows that NYPD officers do not always act in an appropriate manner on duty, especially when firearms are involved. Officers are in fact people, and all people make mistakes. The impact of an officer’s mistake, however, can easily affect the livelihood of another, just as it has Evans’.
If you feel you have become the victim of police brutality or unfair treatment by an officer, do not suffer out of fear of authority. You have rights as a New York citizen—reach out to someone who can help defend them.
Contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates today.