Federal Court Denies City’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Will Allow Paraplegic Shooting Victim to Go to Trial

October 1, 2015

HEMPSTEAD, NY — Frederick K. Brewington of The Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington has announced that his client, James Crockett, will be allowed to testify after a federal court denied the City of New York’s motion for summary judgment. Mr. Crockett has filed a suit against the City of New York and a group of New York City police officers, one of whom shot Mr. Crockett, leaving him unable to walk.

On February 5, 2010, after leaving work in Brooklyn at 5:00 p.m., Mr. Crockett visited three different bars. At 1:00 a.m. the following day, he left the bar. According to Mr. Crockett, after leaving the third bar, he was walking around the corner when he was “grabbed from the back” and mugged by an unknown assailant. In the struggle, he claimed he saw a gun on the assailant which fell to the ground before losing consciousness. Eyewitnesses called 911 to report seeing an intoxicated male on Linden Street carrying a gun.

According to Court papers, NYPD Officers Raul Perez, Matthew Ambrosino and Steven Bhagan of the 83rd Precinct’s Street Conditions Observation Unit responded to the 911 call. Officer Bhagan exited the vehicle while Officers Perez and Ambrosino continued to drive up the block. When they saw Mr. Crockett, they both exited the vehicle.

Mr. Crockett claimed he was lying on the ground when police arrived, whereas the officers reported that Mr. Crockett had the gun in his possession, standing up and pointing the gun in the officers’ direction. In one account, NYPD Lieutenant Greacia Herdsman said she was exiting her vehicle when she heard shots fired but in her deposition, she said the officers’ weapons were drawn but no shots were fired. Mr. Crockett was shot multiple times and seriously injured by the police bullets.

According to Mr. Crockett, his wrists were bound with black electrical tape and he was brought to Elmhurst Hospital in a black van instead of an ambulance. He was eventually hospitalized with two collapsed lungs, a shattered hip, damaged bladder and diaphragm, spinal injuries and paraplegia. His wife Teresa attempted to visit him at the hospital over the next few days but was prevented by a police officer from doing so. He remains paralyzed to this very day.

On February 6, 2010, in an attempt to cover-up their excessive force against Mr. Crockett, he was falsely charged with Menacing of a Police or Peace Officer and Selling or Possessing of Air Pistols and Air Rifles. Five days later, he was indicted by a Grand Jury on felony charges of Menacing in the Second Degree and Menacing in the Third Degree. This indictment occurred while Mr. Crockett was still hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and could not testify because he was hospitalized at the time and the witnesses subpoenaed by his attorney were never called to the stand. From the very time of the incident, Mr. Crockett sought to have his charges dismissed or reduced, but each of his efforts were denied. However, on May 9, 2011, a year and three months, after he was crippled for life and facing a trial, the Prosecutor dismissed all the charges, claiming it was in the interest of justice.

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