A 61-year-old Brooklyn man was killed in a pedestrian accident last weekend. He was lawfully crossing Broadway at Hooper Street in Williamsburg, when a van made a left turn and ran him over in the crosswalk. There was no reason to call the police, however, because the vehicle involved was a NYPD van driven by an on-duty officer.
According to StreetsBlog, the New York Police Department said that the officer broke no traffic laws – a claim that would be laughable if it didn’t involve the death of an innocent man.
It’s not surprising that the officer hasn’t been cited. In fatal NYC pedestrian collisions, the NYPD usually only tickets or charges the at-fault motorist if he or she was intoxicated. If the driver is simply driving carelessly when he or she hits and kills a pedestrian, then the motorist typically face no consequences from the New York criminal justice system.
Victims’ families must bring a wrongful death claim to get justice. A lawsuit allows the family to hold the wrongdoer accountable while recovering money damages for the harm caused.
In the Williamsburg pedestrian death, the family will probably name the NYPD in the wrongful death suit. If so, the family must promptly file a notice of claim with the City or it will forfeit the right to sue the police department.
Source: StreetsBlog.org, “Felix Coss, Of Brooklyn, Third Pedestrian Killed By NYPD In Last 15 Months,” Brad Aaron, July 8, 2013