Thursday, 31 October 2019

Heroin addict with 19 arrests who dragged an NYPD cop with his car forcing another police officer to shoot him is awarded $11m by a jury after being left partially paralyzed

A self-confessed heroin addict who had been arrested almost 20 times has been awarded $11 million by New York City after being shot in the neck by an NYPD officer.
Raoul Lopez, now 40, sued the city over what was initially a traffic stop in February 2006, which ended up leaving him partially paralyzed after being shot by a cop.
Lopez, who was 27 at the time of the incident, had driven through a stop sign at East 169th Street and Grand Concourse in the Bronx when he was pulled over by Sgt. Philippe Blanchard and Officer Zinos Konstantinides.
A jury has awarded $11 million to a man who suffered partial paralysis after he was shot by police during a 2006 traffic stop along the Grand Concourse, pictured, in the Bronx
A jury has awarded $11 million to a man who suffered partial paralysis after he was shot by police during a 2006 traffic stop along the Grand Concourse, pictured, in the Bronx
Konstantinides told Lopez to switch off his engine but Lopez refused to do so.
Just as Konstantinides reached in through the Honda's window to grab the keys, Lopez hit the gas dragging the officer with him.
His partner, Sgt Blanchard, fired a single shot hitting Lopez in the back of the neck. Blanchard claimed he had no choice but to open fire in order to potentially save his partner's life.
Lopez, however, presented a very different story and claimed he was ordered to hand over a bag of drugs at gunpoint.
After fumbling and dropping the bag in the car, he says Blanchard shot him in the back of the neck. 
Although the  bullet didn't sever his spinal cord, it left him partially paralyzed and was a quadriplegic for some time. 
He remains partially paralyzed down his right side according to lengthy documents seen by the New York Post.         
In court, Lopez was acquitted of criminal assault and vehicular assault in the case. 
Officer Blanchard's shot was also deemed to be 'not within department guidelines' during an NYPD review.  Konstantinides later retired from the department.
After being cleared of the charges, Lopez then decided to sue the city and was awarded $11 million by a Bronx Supreme Court jury after a seven day trial.
His attorney, Brett Klein, requested the jury consider between $6 and $9 million for lost earnings - even though Lopez did not have a job at the time of the incident. 
'Raoul Lopez was an unarmed motorist who was needlessly shot in the back of his neck during what the police described as a routine traffic stop,' Klein said in a statement. 
'He was at first a quadriplegic, and through hard work he has made great progress. But the loss of the function of his right arm and other permanent effects of this shooting will be with him for the rest of his life. We are grateful that a Bronx jury has held the City accountable for this wrongful shooting.'
The city has said that the case may not be over and are considering an appeal.
'The split-second response by an officer likely stopped this driver from dragging an officer to his death, a response we believe was justified under the circumstances,' the city's law department wrote in a statement. 
'We strongly disagree with this verdict and are reviewing the city's legal options.'

Post a comment

Start typing and press Enter to search