A Brooklyn teen and his family have filed a federal lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) after officers reportedly denied the 14-year-old insulin while trying to falsely arrest him on attempted murder charges.
Richard Gonzalez reportedly wears an electronic insulin pump that is programmed to administer insulin to him every hour, but officers forcibly removed the pump as they were questioning the teen about his involvement in an April shooting that left another teen injured. Police reportedly got Gonzalez alone in the bathroom of the 83rd Precinct and tried to force a confession out of him using extreme measures.
Divian Ramos, Gonzalez’s mother, says that the officers used “balled fists” to try to “manipulate him into confessing." As it turns out, the officers reportedly arrested Gonzalez only because was Facebook friends with the shooting victim.
“I was scared,” Gonzalez told the New York Daily News, alleging that one officer told him, “You’re going down.”
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After the officers removed the teen’s pump, they threatened to throw Ramos out because she objected to them questioning her son without her present. Later, they allowed her to bring her son food and test his blood sugar levels. As Gonzalez appeared before a judge later on, he reportedly was gagging, dizzy and nauseous because his blood sugar levels were so high.
The few days following the initial arrest, Gonzalez was transferred to two different hospitals because his condition got so bad once officers removed his insulin pump. When his family couldn’t come up with $75,000 bail, Gonzalez was reportedly sent to a juvenile facility where, unbeknownst to his parents, he was transferred to two more hospitals because his high blood sugar levels.
Finally, the Brooklyn district attorney dropped the charges against Gonzalez after learning that the teen was only arrested because he was Facebook friends with the victim and he had the same first name - Richie - as the suspected shooter.
“They focused on Richie [Gonzalez] exclusively and disregarded very strong evidence that’s it wasn’t him,” said Gonzalez’s attorney. “They put a lot of pressure on the kid who was shot to change his story. They were trying to make the sneaker fit when it was not made to fit.”
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Gonzalez maintains that he was asleep when 15-year-old Isaiah Martinez was shot in the foot while in line to buy a pair of sneakers by a completely different Richie. The falsely accused teen’s family is now pressing charges against the NYPD.