NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn man who was shot by police and later cleared of wrongdoing is now filing a lawsuit.
Zaequan Footman, 23, was shot by police and arrested in an April 19 incident that police said involved an exchange of gunfire with officers.
Police said at the time that Footman had fired at officers, but attorney Sanford Rubenstein noted that Footman was cleared by a grand jury and claimed his client was “wrongly shot.”
“Criminal charges against him were dismissed on April 25, after a Brooklyn grand jury heard evidence presented by the NYPD and did not charge him with any crime. He has been wrongly accused, wrongly arrested, and wrongly shot by NYPD police officers,” he said.
Rubenstein said he was filing a $20 million notice of claim for damages against the NYPD and the City of New York.
“We look forward to deposing the police officers who shot, and testified before the grand jury, which found no crime was committed by Zaequan Footman,” he said.
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Farragut Houses public housing development, just west of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and south of the DUMBO and Vinegar Hill neighborhoods. The officers were in plain clothes, officials said at the time.
Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said an 84th Precinct sergeant and three officers were on patrol near the building at 177 Sands St. and were looking for another man — Dontre Bradley, 20 – who was wanted on a warrant. They found Bradley and tried to stop him, when Footman pulled out a gun and fired at the officers, Maddrey said.
Maddrey said Footman was shot in the wrist and ran off, police said. He was later found inside an apartment where he was arrested. Police said Bradley also fled the scene initially, but was immediately located and arrested.
But Rubenstein said Footman fired no shots, and took issue with the way Maddrey presented the chain of events.
“Other than the police officers, who shot at him at least 19 times, the only other shooter was Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, who shot from the hip when he accused him in the press of exchanging fire with the police,” Rubenstein told 1010 WINS. “When is the NYPD going to trying to dirty up victims when they wrongfully shoot them? The list of victims of wrongful police shootings in this city just gets longer and longer.”
The suit will argue that officers were negligent and reckless when they shot Footman.
There was no comment from the city Law Department late Wednesday, 1010 WINS reported.
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