Family members of a Brooklyn man who died after been hit by a car spoke out with their lawyers on Tuesday, saying the man was mowed down by a police cruiser and the local precinct did not notify them. Borough Reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
There is a makeshift memorial in Canarsie, Brooklyn, at the place where Tamon Robinson died. There are also angry accusations about how he died.
Robinson's family says the 27-year-old was mowed down in front of his apartment building at the Bayview Houses by a police car that was chasing him early on April 12.
His mother, Laverne Dobbinson, was home at the time and did not know what all the police activity was about.
"They never came to me still to this day and said that your son was involved in any kind of incident or anything. Nothing, I didn't even know," Laverne Dobbinson told reporters on Tuesday.
The incident happened before Robinson was due to open the store where he worked. He was in the street allegedly stealing paving stones when police spotted him.
Lawyers for the family said others saw the police car hit him, and what happened next.
"There are witnesses who observed police handcuff him, smack him in the face, tell him to wake up. But nonetheless, he was unresponsive," said Jay Schwitzman, a lawyer for Robinson's family.
"The penalty for stealing paving stones is not death," said Sanford Rubenstein, a lawyer for Robinson's family.
Family members said doctors told them Robinson was brain dead by the time he was brought to Brookdale Hospital. Police never notified them that he was even injured.
"We had to call the precinct to find out if it was my brother or not. And the whole 69th precinct was out there and they did not come knock on the door and tell us nothing," said Kawana Dobbinson, Robinson's sister.
Robinson was pronounced dead last week and a funeral is set for Friday.
The family claimed Robinson might be alive if police had not delayed getting him medical attention.
"If they would have brought him right away, they could've saved him," said Laverne Dobbinson.
"We've asked for an order in supreme court to preserve the police car for our accident reconstruction expert and also any film taken from the police car or at the housing project," said Rubenstein.
The Brooklyn District attorney's office is investigating and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is also reportedly conducting an investigation.