NYPD Being Sued Over Death of Emotionally Disturbed Man
In a story you'll see only on NY1, the NYPD is being sued over the death of an emotionally disturbed man. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
When Anthony Paul died last year after an encounter with the NYPD, there was no news coverage of his death. But his family's lawyer, Derek Sells, says there should have been. He claims police killed the emotionally disturbed 29-year-old.
"He was not a danger to himself, he was not a danger to others, and yet, he ended up dead because of police misconduct, excessive force," Sells said.
Now, the family is suing the city.
Police say on July 1 of last year, they were called to a three-quarter house on Briggs Avenue in the Bronx. Paul was staying there after serving prison time. Police say they were told he was erratic, overdosed on drugs and barricaded himself inside his apartment.
Police tried to negotiate for hours with him, but after he wouldn't open the door, they used a power saw to cut it. The family says police then broke the door down and tased him multiple times.
"They also said that Anthony was nude, he didn't have anything on him," said Paul's father, also named Anthony Paul. "When somebody doesn't have clothes on them, they can't pull out a gun somewhere. They can't pull out a knife."
Paul died later at the hospital of cardiac arrest.
The family attorney says the alleged overuse of tasers broke NYPD guidelines.
"You are allowed to trigger three cycles of charges, and those cycles last for five seconds. We believe that Mr. Paul was tased many more times than that," Sells said.
During a news conference on K2 last year, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton didn't mention Paul by name but said he was whacked out on synthetic marijuana.
"This individual was so out of it, he literally grabbed hold of this electric saw with both hands and was totally impervious to the pain," Bratton said in August 2015.
The family's lawyer, though, says the city's autopsy report did not find synthetic marijuana in Paul's body.
Sells says he believes the NYPD has video of the encounter, which he says the department is refusing to turn over.