A Press Conference will be held on September 17, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the House of Justice, located at 106 West 145th Street, Harlem, NY 10039 related to the tragic incident of June 22, 2010, wherein around 9:30 a.m., Sister Mary Celine Graham, a Nun with the Fransiscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in Harlem and her caretaker Patricia Cruz were run down during a high speed vehicle chase involving the New York City Police Department (hereinafter referred to as “NYPD”). The NYPD recklessly pursued these suspects in a high speed chase through the streets of Harlem, causing this fatal crash involving three vehicles and injuring a number of pedestrians and endangering the entire community. The impact hurled both Sister Celine and Mrs. Cruz a number of feet from Lenox Avenue and West 122nd Street, violently killing Sister Celine and placing Mrs. Cruz in critical condition.
Sister Mary Celine, who was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and raised in Detroit, joined the Black Order of Catholic Nuns approximately sixty (60) years ago, was well respected in the community and was a longtime teacher in Harlem and Staten Island. Patricia Cruz of Brooklyn, was her caretaker and close friend was also critically and permanently injured. Patricia Cruz and the family of Sister Celine, through her nephew and family members, refuse to allow this failure by New York City Police Department to go unanswered. The family will call on the City of New York and the New York City Police Department to answer questions as to why and how they failed to follow the law, policies and procedures related to arrests, detention and high speed chases.
On September 17, 2010, Mr. Marion Graham (Sister Celine’s nephew), Patricia Cruz and
family members and their Attorneys will be present and announce the filing of a Notice of Intent
to commence legal action against the City of New York and the New York City Police Department.
At this Press Conference, the families will call upon the City of New York and New York City Police Department to be held accountable for their failures, violations, recklessness and negligence all leading to the senseless death of Sister Celine and unnecessary injury to Patricia Cruz and others.
A Press Conference will be held on September 17, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the House of Justice, located at 106 West 145th Street, Harlem, NY 10039 to announce the taking of legal action and demand full public disclosure about exactly what the City of New York and New York City Police Department is doing to address the increasing string of high speed chases and civil rights violation in the Urban Communities, and injuries and deaths resulting from same, in the City of New York.
“We cannot allow NYPD’s violations of policies and procedures to go unchecked. Innocent victims such as Sister Celine and Mrs. Cruz have a right to be safe from these type of blunders. There is really no excuse acceptable in this case.” said Frederick K. Brewington, Esq., one of the attorneys for the Sister Celine and Mrs. Cruz.
“Sister Celine’s death and Mrs. Cruz’s injuries could have been prevented if the Authorities simply did their jobs and followed the law” said Benjamin Crump, Esq., one of the attorneys for the Sister Celine and Mrs. Cruz.
During the Press Conference, the families will be joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, Mr. Frederick K. Brewington, Esq. Mr. Benjamin Crump, Esq., Ms. Jasmine Rand, Esq., Ms. Valerie M. Cartright, and other members of the community at this Press Conference on September 17, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the House of Justice, located at 106 West 145th Street, Harlem , NY 10039.