EXCLUSIVE: Emotionally disturbed man's kin to file $20M suit against NYC, cops who fatally shot him after he hit them with baton
The family of an emotionally disturbed Brooklyn man who was shot and killed by two NYPD cops after he allegedly beat them with their own baton will file a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the officers, the Daily News has learned.
“We want justice for the death of my brother,” Omahis Gomez, 19, the sister of Erickson Gomez Brito, said Tuesday.
Brito was shot to death by Officers Jennifer Garcia and Andris Bisogno last Nov. 19.
When the two housing cops reported to the Van Dyke Houses on Sutter Ave. near Mother Gaston Blvd. in Brownsville for a report of a suspicious man in the building, they encountered 21-year-old Brito on the ninth-floor and asked him for ID.
Brito, who relatives said previously suffered from depression, exchanged words with the officers. The argument quickly escalated into a physical fight.
The notice of claim faults police for “failing to implement an appropriate system for dispatching officers to handle situations involving emotionally disturbed persons and (for) failing to obtain appropriate and immediate medical attention” for Brito, said the family’s attorney Sanford Rubenstein.
As one of the officers pulled out a baton, Brito grabbed it and allegedly began beating the cops in their heads before shots were fired.
“The male officer was struck in the head causing a 2-inch gash on the top of his scalp. The female officer was also struck several times in the head,” said NYPD Housing Bureau Chief James Secreto at the time of the incident.
Both officers fired at least nine bullets.
Video that allegedly captures the crack of the gunshots from the incident shows a significant gap between each of the cops’ shots.
“There is a serious issue regarding the number of shots fired by police and the time span between each shot fired,” Rubenstein said, adding that he was turning the clip over to the Brooklyn district attorney's office as evidence.
Brito was pronounced dead at the scene. The officers were treated at a hospital for head injuries.
Bisogno needed surgical staples to close the gash on his head and had his left hand bandaged.
Nevertheless, Brito’s father Osiris Gomez charged in the notice of claim filed with the city’s controller’s office that the cops failed by not notifying the Emergency Service Unit.
The case is being reviewed by Brooklyn prosecutors, according to a law enforcement source. A spokesman for the NYPD declined to comment.