Police Shoot Dog; Citizen Fights Back With Lawsuit
This story comes to us through CopBlock.org’s submissions tab from Attorney Matt Albert. It’s good to see citizens fighting back against these officers that continue to become more trigger happy during their interactions with them and their pets. The following is a press release for their lawsuit.
2/5/15; Lawsuit filed 5/2/15
NYPD; Officer Abiola Errico
83rd Precinct; 480 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (718) 574-1605
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, May 30, 2015,
CONTACT: Matt Albert, The Law Offices of Matthew Albert Esq. 716-445-4119; email@example.com
Kelly Lauckern, Freeze Don’t Shoot, 315-246-2955; firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil Claim served upon the NYPD for shooting German Shepherd as Criminal charges against the dog’s owner are to be dismissed.
BROOKLYN, NY – A Bushwick Ave. resident and owner of a 85 lb 8-year-old German Shepherd shot by Brooklyn Officer Abiola Errico of the NYPD’s 83rd District has fought back by filing a notice of claim against the city while also having the criminal charges against her scheduled to be dismissed in six months time.
Among other allegations, the claim states that the NYPD unlawfully imprisoned Raven Garcia, 34, in a police car as they ransacked her apartment and shot her companion animal, aka Macho, in his paw with an unnecessary and gratuitous display of physical force. Garcia states that while Macho’s paw has mostly healed, he now displays some different and more fearful tendencies than he had prior to getting shot. Abiola discharged three bullets in the entryway of Garcia’s apartment. The lawsuit, as set forth by Garcia’ attorney Matthew Albert Esq., alleges that the NYPD then pressed a frivolous criminal charge against Ms. Garcia in an effort to cover up for the animal cruelty committed by the department.
“Even in the NYPD’s own paperwork, they state that Macho was doing nothing more than walking towards Ms. Garcia,” said Albert.
“The NYPD somehow took a routine and mundane misunderstanding of a cab fare, and turned the incident into a dog shooting in tight quarters that put the whole neighborhood in jeopardy. They then sealed off the block to try to cover up their misdeeds… they did everything but call in the National Guard… all over a taxi cab fare.”
The fare has since been resolved, and on Friday at Brooklyn City Court, Garcia agreed to a delayed dismissal of her theft of service charge where the charge will automatically be dismissed on November 29, 2015, assuming she does not get rearrested in the interim. Garcia, a New York University grad student and drama therapy major, expressed relief at the delayed dismissal being agreed to in court on Friday, though she still is upset with what she and her dog endured this past February.
“The most important thing is that Macho survived and is physically okay now,” said Garcia. “The matters taken by Officer Errico and the NYPD were extreme, but I continue to count my blessings.”
Kelly Lauckern, the director of the New York State Chapter of Freeze Don’t Shoot, a grassroots organization dedicated to studying and stopping the practice of police shooting dogs in this country, was less diplomatic in her assessment of the NYPD’s conduct towards Macho and Garcia. She compared this incident to one in Brownsville, Brooklyn on April 17 of this year, where an officer discharged his firearm at a seemingly playful dog in a crowd of people. That incident was caught on video and provoked national outrage.
“It’s ironic that Ms. Garcia is a drama major… because it is the NYPD that act like psychopathic drama queens in routine interactions with dogs,” said Lauckern. “In that case also, the NYPD covered up the crime of one of its officers by arresting a citizen for a frivolous charge.”
Albert also expresses dismay at what his client has gone through, and states these are the type of cases that happen all too often in mostly minority communities and have eroded all faith in the criminal justice system. “For anyone to unnecessarily discharge their firearm in a crowd of people like that… that is reckless endangerment. Errico should be charged criminally just as if she was a citizen. The fact that her crime and the crime of the Officer who discharged his firearm in April are essentially condoned by the entire department embodies a ‘us against them’ attitude that is prevalent amongst law enforcement and defines Bill Bratton and the NYPD’s mentality,” Albert said.
Albert also states that the shooting of dogs by police is a purely American phenomenon and is indicative of the lack of respect that many in law enforcement have towards the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.
“For Officer’s to show such little regard for the lives and well-being of man’s best friend, how much respect can they have for their fellow-man?”
Follow the Facebook page for Justice for Macho here: Justice-4-Macho