YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The New York State Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation after one suspect was shot following a police chase up Saw Mill River Parkway on Tuesday.
Miguel Espinal, 36, and Akeem Mark Smith, 25, fled from city cops after being pulled over at a traffic stop in the Bronx at around 11:45 a.m., the NYPD said. Officers chased the silver Nissan — which belonged to Espinal’s brother — into Yonkers, with the manhunt ending in a wrong-way crash in the northbound lane of the Saw Mill River Parkway.
After the crash, Espinal left the vehicle and fled to the surrounding Tibbetts Brook Park. Police entered into an altercation with Espinal, where he was shot and killed by police, CBS2 reported. Espinal was apparently unarmed.
Family members who identified the body said it didn’t seem like Espinal was in any shape to fight and that they’re pleased the attorney general is stepping in, CBS2’s Lou Young reported.
“His face was all scratched up,” Anna Juble, Espinal’s sister, said. “It’s a possibility it could’ve been through the accident, but his face was destroyed.”
Because Espinal was unarmed, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office is handling the case under new protocol imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — a move designed to mitigate some of the suspicion that arises when the criminal justice system investigates itself.
“Whether he ran from the cops or not, it doesn’t justify that he got shot. It doesn’t justify that,” Justin Juble, Espinal’s brother, said.
The police shooting case is being handled by Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg, whose office will decide if it goes to a Grand Jury or not. A report will be released to the public even if no indictment results.
“I have a strong belief that justice will be served,” another relative said.
Police said they were trying to pull over Espinal because he was driving recklessly. Espinal’s family said he ran from officers because he doesn’t have a license. He was also wanted on open warrants from Florida for burglary and assault.