LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) –The fatal police shooting of a New Jersey robbery suspect was an act of “police brutality” made by “untrained police officers,” according to his family’s attorney.
Rickey McFadden, 47, was killed on Nov. 25 after being suspected of robbing a CVS store in Leonia at knife-point.
Rosemarie Arnold, the lawyer for the family, said McFadden was “kind,” “gentle” and “emotionally disturbed.” She said he went to CVS “to buy a pack of cigarettes, like he did every single day of his life for the past 10 years.”
“Mr. McFadden did not have a gun when these shootings took place and he was running away from the police as indicated by the fact that there were bullet holes in the back of his legs and on the bottom of his feet,” Arnold told 1010 WINS.
McFadden’s family now intends to file a wrongful-death lawsuit.
While authorities have not gone into great detail about what prompted the shooting, Bergen Prosecutor John Molinelli said witnesses have told investigators McFadden did have a weapon and that he was approaching officers and refused to drop that weapon when they fired.
Molinelli has also described the action of the officers from the Leonia and Palisades Park police departments as “defensive.”
But McFadden’s lawyer called the claim “ridiculous.”
“First of all, he shouldn’t be commenting to the press about specific things that witnesses told him in the first place. Second of all, it makes absolutely no sense that McFadden was attacking police officers when he got shot in the back of his legs and the bottom of his feet,” Arnold said.
Arnold said the shooting was “a total case of police brutality,” committed by “untrained police officers, who are in a situation of danger and have no idea how to handle it.”
However, she also made a point of mentioning that “Nobody is claiming that these officers are evil or did anything purposefully. They had a lack of training.”
“Where are the stun guns? If you are going to claim that this is a defense shooting, you have to be able to show that he was coming toward you, that you were in danger or that someone else was in danger. There was no one in danger in this situation” Arnold said.
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