The New York Police Department is under fire for not being more prepared when shooting incidents occur like the one outside the Empire State Building in Manhattan last August. This is what a college student is claiming in a personal injury lawsuit.
The woman was one of nine innocent bystanders who were injured by the gunfire when police tried to stop a man who allegedly shot a former co-worker. She said she believes she was injured because the police officers did not have proper training to handle such a situation. She said shooting through crowds of people was a negligent action.
The suit comes months after a man entered the area outside of the Empire State Building carrying a gun in his attaché bag. Witnesses said he had already shot another man, his co-worker. Once police arrived at the scene, the suspect directed his weapon at officers. He was shot immediately, but the officers' gunfire also injured several people in the vicinity.
The lawsuit is believed to be the first since the incident, though others are expected to come forward. However, the New York City mayor and the police commissioner denied any wrongdoing by the police force at the scene, adding that the officers acted properly within protocol. A member of the New York City Corporation Counsel agreed, saying the police had to use their judgment in less than a second in order to keep others protected. Additional citizens may have been at risk if police had not acted so quickly, he said.
The woman said in her lawsuit she believes police should have chosen a location where bystanders were not in danger of being killed or injured before confronting the Empire State Building gunman. Instead, their actions left her with a bullet in her left hip and in need of physical therapy.
The issue of proper firearms training is a prominent one right now, and one that should be continue to be treated seriously in hopes that fewer people are injured by unintentional gunfire.
Source: Billings Gazette, "NC woman sues NYPD over Empire State shooting," Jan. 22, 2013