The NYPD officer who shot a bodega worker to death after mistaking him for a robber will not face any criminal charges, and now, the worker's family is planning to sue the officer and the police department. Family and friends held an angry protest in the Bronx Saturday following the decision. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
Family and friends of Reynaldo Cuevas, the bodega worker accidentally shot and killed by an NYPD officer in September, said that the officer who shot him should be stripped of his badge.
"He didn't want to die that night," said Jessebell Batista, Cuevas' girlfriend.
Surveillance video captured the armed robbery at the corner store of 169th Street and Franklin Avenue in the Bronx.
Cuevas, who worked inside the bodega, ran out to flee the gunmen.
That's when he collided with Officer Ramysh Bangali, who was responding to the scene.
The officer had his gun drawn, and police sid the impact apparently caused it to go off.
"It's been very hard," Batista said. "But basically, when we do these marches, it's like we feel more connected to him."
A spokesperson for the Bronx District Attorney's office said that after reviewing the evidence, they found that the officer is not criminally responsible for the 20-year-old's death.
The three men who allegedly robbed the store, have been charged.
Cuevas' supporters said that's not good enough.
"The system has to be changed to have an independent prosecutor investigate and prosecute cases of police misconduct in this state," said Sanford Rubenstein, the family attorney.
"The mother don't feel that this officer should be in this community because the simple fact is, she's afraid that somebody else's son could end up like Reynaldo Cuevas ended up," said Jose LaSalle, who organized the march.
The attorney for the family said they will file a $25 million wrongful death civil action suit against the officer and the city on Monday.
The NYPD said that they always conduct their own investigations into incidents like this to determine whether the officer was in violation of department rules.