Society

NYPD Defends Officer Who Ran Over Teacher

| by Jimmy King
A Crosswalk SignA Crosswalk Sign

A teacher was struck and killed by a police car while crossing the street in a New York crosswalk on July 6, 2013. Now, the victim’s family is suing, and the NYPD is fighting the case. 

As Felix Coss walked across the street in a crosswalk, Officer Paula Medrano turned left to strike Coss in a marked police vehicle, reports Streets Blog. Coss, 61, died later that night from his head injuries.

The NYPD defended itself, saying that Coss acted “reckless” while crossing the street.

“It was a tragic, unfortunate accident,” said an NYPD source.

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Coss’ family blames the NYPD. Coss’ brothers allege Medrano was behaving recklessly, and using her cellphone while driving. 

In response, NYPD said “[Coss] knew or should have known in the exercise of due/reasonable care of the risks and dangers incident to engaging in the activity alleged,” in a statement.

Andrew Levine, the Coss family’s lawyer, holds that the police department’s defense is baseless.

“They have things in here that he should have known, that he was engaging in a dangerous activity.  He’s a pedestrian walking across the street with a walk signal,” said Levine.

Levine alleges the NYPD refused to cooperate with Coss’ family throughout the case, denying access to information.

“It feels as though they really put up a stone wall to try and prevent any flow of information whatsoever,” said Levine.

The NYPD reportedly rejected a freedom of information act request from Streets Blog for documents pertinent to the collision. 

Coss’ friends and family say he was cautious, and don’t believe that he acted recklessly, reports WNBC.

“He wouldn’t cross without his light. I’m sure of that,” said Denia Brache.

“He was a very soulful individual. He loved his students and his students loved him and he’s going to be greatly missed,” said one of Coss’ former students.

The Coss family and NYPD are set to begin a hearing in April.

Sources: WNBC, Streets Blog / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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