NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The family of 11-year-old Briana Ojeda has filed suit against the city after an NYPD officer allegedly refused to administer CPR to their daughter, who later died at an area hospital.
Civil Rights Attorney Bonita Zelman says the Ojeda family wants $17 million in damages from the city, the NYPD, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, and Officer Alfonso Mendez, who stopped Briana and her mother on their way to the hospital.
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“[We’re suing them] for letting this child die and not making any effort for give her CPR, and to punish the police commissioner for not stepping up to the plate and immediately changing police protocol and procedure,” Zelman said.
Briana had suffered an asthma attack while playing in Carroll Gardens Park and was en route to the hospital when her mother, Carmen Ojeda, was stopped by Officer Mendez. Officer Mendez failed to administer life saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, claiming he did not know how to perform it.
Briana passed away an hour after arriving at the hospital. Had Briana received CPR treatment, the tragedy may have never occurred.
The family is also working with Albany lawmakers on Briana’s Law, which would require police officers to be retrained in CPR each year. It would also make it a crime if a victim is left disabled or dies because of the failure to administer CPR.
Mendez was suspended with pay a few days after the girl’s death.
All police officers receive training to perform CPR, with retraining required every two years.