Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rogues on the Streets and on the Sheets (of Legal Documents)

Two outrageous stories from Brooklyn, N.Y., involving New York's finest.

First, a 61-year-old Spanish teacher was killed in broad daylight while crossing a street. He was in a crosswalk, walking with a green light and walk sign. His killer was a cop in a marked car (non-emergency, no lights or siren) who was using her cell phone while making a left turn. That is bad enough, obviously. But worse in some ways is the city's response to the teachers' family's lawsuit: City attorneys claim the teacher is responsible for the crash. He "knew or should have known in the exercise of due/reasonable care of the risks and dangers incident to engaging in the activity alleged."

They wrote:

Plantiff(s) voluntarily performed and engaged in the alleged activity and assumed the risk of the injuries and/or damages claimed. Plaintiff(s) failed to use all required, proper, appropriate and reasonable safety devices and/or equipment and failed to take all proper, appropriate and reasonable steps to assure his/her/their safety … Plaintiff(s)’ implied assumption of risk caused or contributed, in whole or in part [sic] to his/her/their injuries.
Yes, the teacher voluntarily engaged in the "alleged" activity of crossing a street. He didn't use "reasonable" safety devices... maybe a giant armored bubble could have worked. He exists in human space and so therefore is at risk and no one is ever responsible for actions that directly lead to his injury and death. Sounds like a good basis for a legal system.

The crash was in July 2013, so it's a little while ago, but legal things take a while and it's just hitting the news now.

Second, a Brooklyn letter carrier was arrested by four undercover, plainclothes cops for absolutely no reason recently. Read the story for the details, but essentially, he was taking a package from his USPS van when he was almost hit by a passing car with four men in it. He yelled after the car. They returned as he approached the building to deliver the package, surrounded him, and arrested him. All while telling him to "stop resisting," which he clearly was not doing (as shown on citizen videos). Then they threw him in the back seat, handcuffed and without a seat belt, and proceeded to rear-end another car. Oh, and guess... the letter carrier is black, and at least three of the cops are white. From my viewing, the fourth may be Latino or Filipino.

At least this case is getting notice from the Brooklyn borough president (who is an ex-cop and black) and Bill de Blasio. Maybe these two public official can have something to say about the crosswalk killing as well.

1 comment: