NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– A Brooklyn family was struggling to find answers Friday, after their lawsuit against the city and an NYPD officer was thrown out.
They sued after the officer refused to perform CPR on their daughter as she was suffering from what turned out to be a deadly asthmatic attack 6 years ago, WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported.
“I really don’t understand it. I’ll never understand it,” mother Carmen Ojeda said.
With tears in her eyes, Ojeda recounted the day she lost her 11-year-old daughter Briana back in August of 2010. Briana was playing at a park in Carroll Gardens when she suffered an asthmatic attack.
Ojeda, doing everything she could to get her daughter to the hospital, drove down a street the wrong way. She was stopped by Officer Alfonso Mendez, who the mother believed might be able to help her.
“I don’t understand how he couldn’t help me. Or how he wouldn’t if this happened before his eyes.” she said.
Mendez said in court that he only learned CPR via texbook and didn’t feel safe helping Briana if he didn’t actually know what he was doing. A judge ruled that there is no policy for NYPD officers to know or be willing to perform CPR.
“He told me to call 911. I mean you are 911, you’re stopping me from getting to the hospital,” Ojeda said.
As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, the court ruling concluded the traffic stop does not trigger a constitutional duty to provide medical assistance.
Briana’s family want the city to change it’s policy and train all police officers in CPR.
“They’re trained in how to shoot their firearms every 6 months, why not train them in CPR?” Ojeda said.
The NYPD said through early July it has retrained more than 5,000 police officers in basic life support including CPR.
The family said it will not stop fighting to prevent heartache like this from happening to anyone else. The family’s attorney said it will seek any possible appeals following the court’s dismissal of their lawsuit.