NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The Brooklyn parents whose daughter died of an asthma attack when a police officer failed to perform CPR are now mobilizing a movement to require officers to take action, and to be prosecuted if they don’t.

The parents, Michael and Carmen Ojeda of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, led the charge. They’re demanding from police not only CPR, but to live by the police slogan of “courtesy, professionalism and respect.”

“No other mother can go through what I go through now, every day waking up without my baby,” Carmen said.

Her child, 11-year-old Briana Ojeda, suffered a fatal asthma attack on August 27. She died after a police officer failed to give her cardio pulmonary resuscitation, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“No only did he refuse, but he said he did not know CPR, and he’s still a cop on the police force,” Bonita Zelman, the Ojedas’ attorney, said.

The police officer, 30-year-old Alfonso Mendez of the 84th Precinct and a five-year veteran, said he didn’t know how. He’s been suspended with pay, and could face further action.

All police are trained in the technique, with retraining required every two years. The child’s parents want that changed to every year, and for officers to face a misdemeanor if they refuse to help in a medical emergency.

“We are going forward with Briana’s Law,” Zelman said.

The family who believes their daughter was wronged not only wants a change in policy, but they want the city punished. In addition to demanding changes in police policy, the Ojeda family is planning to file a lawsuit against the city.

Comments (29)
  1. lele2780 says:

    actually the officer was suspended WITHOUT pay!! we should all be feeling sorry for the officer! now he is suspended without pay because of this money hungry crackhead who so calls herself a mother and he has to deal with being without money to provide for his own family! meanwhile this so called mother is partying at jersey shore over the labor day weekend (suppose to be mourning her daughters death) fist pumping and doing her nails and hair while this poor officer is dealing with nothing but lies that this shameless parents are saying just to !! meanwhile this mother has changed her stories more then 5 x’s, maybe she was to high to remember the first story she gave the reporters!! i agree with most here the police are trained to FIGHT CRIME NOT BE DOCTORS!! just for the record and for everyone here to know the officer never blocked this lady and he never pulled her over and he never wrote her a summons!! in fact he did put his lights and sirens on so that everyone going the right way can move out so she can get to the hospital fast!!

  2. Larry says:

    It’s a good thing the police officer was Hispanic otherwise the Hispanic family would have cried racial bias and disrimination. She drove the wrong way down a one way street. She should have her drivers license revoked. The father is a tow truck driver so he must have taught her how to drive and steal cars.

  3. Mitch says:

    What is CPR?

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to “buy time” until normal heart function is restored.

  4. Darby says:

    Echo Eric on that one. I am appalled that you could even say this when nine years ago countless police officers rushed to the scene in what became one of New York’s most human moments. You must either be too young to know or you must be a yuppy from the burbs, ignorant of our city’s ways.

  5. Christa says:


  6. who cares says:

    the parents are responsible not the cop I have a child who’s perfectly fine and I know CPR just in case if my child would have such of serious condition I would make sure I even live close enough to the hospital . I think it should be a law for the parents to get certified don’t look to put a blame on someone , blame yourself shame on you “parents” if you can call them that or just sperm donor and walfaire recipien

  7. Arturo says:

    What is the issue? No matter what, some lawyer has consulted the parents to sue…… Why don’t we have some sort of ethics behaivior involved with the unfortunate tragedy and the people involved?

  8. CiS says:

    It’s not the officer’s fault that this little girl died. First Cpr is for those whose heart stop beating. Her heart
    could have still be beating but just not getting the oxygen it needs. You are stating he blocked her way for getting to
    the hospital, well wouldn’t you do the same if you were a police officer and saw a vehicle going the wrong way. Just looking at
    the vehicle going the wrong way how was the officer suppose to know that their was someone who needed medical aid. The last
    person to drive the wrong way ended up killing someone. What would have you said if the officer would have let the vehicle
    continued on its way and later on it was found that the vehicle hit or killed someone, then video or witnesses came out and stated the
    police saw the vehicle and didn’t anything to stop it. You would probably be saying here that what type of idiot of a cop would
    let someone drive on the wrong side of the street. Sometimes we as humans want to take shortcuts and take the easy way out. This woman
    should have either waited for the ambulance or driven on the right side of the street. Another thing lets say this police vehicle
    was heading north and mother of the child south and he blocked her way. What about those vehicle behind the police vehicle they
    first have to move before police vehicle can move and as everyone know everyone first want to find out what is going on and take
    their time before backing up. I see every day while driving on the highway and there is a vehicle accident. Everyone drives slow
    to see what is going on even when the police/firefighter/ems are already there causing a traffic delays for everyone behind them.
    My older sisters suffers frm Asthma and my mother always had her medicine with her, she even made sure my sister carry one with her
    and another in her bookbag. This is what a responsible parent should be doing. Another thing police officers are there to fight
    crime, now they need to learn medicine, then it’s going to be he needs to be firefighter too, an accountant, tax preparer in april,
    electrician, a mechanic, gardener, a pilot. They are there to fight crime, that is why you have EMS and doctors to perform these
    meidcal procedurec. What would have happened if he would have performed CPR on the girl and later on it came out that this action
    by the police officer caused the death of this little girl. I rather have somebody perform this procedure who knows whats he is doing
    and not someone who doesn’t. If he stated he didn’t know who are we to get mad because he hasn’t gotten re-trained. That is like
    saying that podiatrist (foot doctor) is available let say in a plane and someone gets a stroke, just because he is a doctor doesn’t
    automatically mean he can help this person. Some would be saying but he/she is a doctor how come they don’t know hot to perform that,
    he should be fired and take his pension. Police officers are suppose to get re-training (requalify) every two years on CPR. I believe
    this officer got suspended with paid because records proof that he hasn’t gotten trained by the agency or department who trained

  9. wil says:

    Stupid. CPR do not cure asthma, that is why the office say he do not know. He do not know how to perform a asthma curing CPR. The parents’ should have brought the medicine they need for these sort of attack. And now they are still not reviewing their neligent but blaming the officer.

  10. Officer Paycheck says:

    I’m sorry she died but its the parents fault not the officer…They should have known CPR…it was their child …this lil girl is gone because her mother lacked the love to learn CPR..As an officer Im not putting my mouth on any every person…who isnt breathing ….Plus if he did do something and she died …they would have found fault in that….darn it you do and darned if you dont!!!!

    1. John says:

      Even if the officer didn’t know CPR, he’s still liable for the girls death because he blocked the street with his patrol car not allowing the mother to drive her daughter to the hospital. If he had common sense, he would have allowed the mother drive through instead of just blocking her path and not providing CPR.

      1. Chris Buckley says:

        John, when a cop sees a violation of the vehicle and traffic law which results in a motor vehicle accident he has a duty to stop that vehicle do a report and issue summonses if warranted. When he realized that there was a medical emergency he provided a police escort to the hospital. As far as not performing CPR is concerned I wouldn’t have given this girl CPR either. He did not have the proper equipment to do CPR, a pocket mask or a bag valve mask (the NYPD does not issue this equipment). Cops don’t give mouth to mouth to strangers (no matter the age). Even had he done CPR this would not have saved her, her airway was closed due to an asthma attack. Blame the police if it makes you happy, it’s a popular opinion.

  11. Angry Officer says:

    i woud have faked it if i had forgot…

  12. Eric says:

    This comment two days after the anniversary of 9/11. You disgust me. Your ignorance disgusts me and your hatred disgusts me.

  13. Katie says:

    Your child has life-threatening asthma and you don’t know how to perform CPR? And you don’t have an epi-pen or prescription inhaler with you at all times? I’d say that’s child endangerment. The police officer isn’t liable, the parents are. The police officers are law enforcement, not medical personnel. It’s unfair to point the ultimate finger at the police officer when it’s the parents gross failure that significantly contributed to the loss of their child. I am terribly sorry for their loss. However, there is a gross lack of accountability and severe negligence on the part of the parents. The officer does deserve a penalty for not fulfilling his duties if CPR is included as a requirement of his job, but not loss of a pension. C’mon now, common sense. CPR is for your heart, but won’t clear your lungs. You can’t jumpstart an airway open.

  14. John says:

    Discipline the cop and compensate the family with a reasonable amount.

  15. greg says:

    These stupid parents should blame themselves instead of blaming the police for not performing CPR to their child. They knew from the start that their daughter had an asthma and it can trigger anytime so why didn’t they enrol themselves for CPR Training? I hate these kind of people who blame others for their faults.

  16. Jobo says:

    “He’s been suspended with pay,”

    Isn’t that called a vacation ?

    “It’s not the city’s fault that the officer lied about not being trained in CPR. Why are they liable? ”

    First you misstate the law. Then you want a lesson in law ?

  17. Natassia says:

    Why didn’t the parents do CPR?

    1. BLS says:

      Because they didn’t know it. Parents like this expect everyone to pick up the slack for them. If your child has asthma, would you take her to the park on a hot day to play?

      Anyway, the Good Samaritan DID perform CPR on Briana and it didn’t help. Briana didn’t need CPR, she needed the medical care that would have been given to her if only her addled mother had the common sense to wait for the ambulance. The ambulance medics would have immediately given Briana a steroid shot to open her airways along with other emergency medical care.

      1. stuart says:

        At last a sensible measure comment of substance. Thank you BLS.

    2. marinus says:

      Correct it’s easy to blame always others and sue The US is Suesick.

  18. paolo says:

    It’s not the city’s fault that the officer lied about not being trained in CPR. Why are they liable? Sue the officer and strip him of his pension. One good lawsuit should do the job, but its not the city’s fault. Why should taxpayers have to pay up?

    1. Kingsley Wijesinhe says:

      That’s because of something called vicarious liability. If an employee fails to do his duty, the employer is liable.

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