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NYPD: Teacher Killed by Cop in Crosswalk “Assumed Risk” by Crossing Street

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posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 04:36 PM
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I'd first like to say that not all police are bad. I know that questioning police and their actions often leads to accusations that all police are being painted with the same brush. That said, it is my opinion that the entire system is corrupt and helps to enable those police who are bad.

With that disclaimer out of the way lets take a look at an incident which happened 3 years ago but is currently still being fought against by the NYPD.

Felix Coss was crossing Broadway at Hooper Street in Williamsburg, in a crosswalk with the signal, on the afternoon of July 6, 2013, when Officer Paula Medrano of the 90th Precinct struck him with a marked police van while turning left. Coss, a 61-year-old veteran Spanish teacher, suffered severe head injuries and died that night at Bellevue Hospital.

Sounds like a tragic accident with zero malicious intent. Though an accident that would usually still bring some form of charge against a driver.

The NYPD crash report says Medrano “had the green light,” but does not indicate Coss was crossing with the walk signal and had the right of way.

Of course it didn't.

Following up on a witness statement that Medrano was on her cell phone at the time of the crash, the Internal Affairs Bureau subpoenaed her phone records, according to the Daily News. But just two days after Coss was killed the Post reported that Medrano probably wouldn’t be summonsed or charged by NYPD. Though Coss “had the pedestrian signal,” the Post reported, “No criminality and no traffic-law violations are suspected.”

So we have a driver who was busy on their cell phone, failed to yield to a pedestrian with the right of way, and hit and killed the pedestrian but no violations were made? I'm sure they could have scrounged up plenty of violations and/or charges had the driver been a civilian but I digress.

So what exactly is the defense in this case?



The city’s response to the suit says Coss “knew or should have known in the exercise of due/reasonable care of the risks and dangers incident to engaging in the activity alleged.”



From the city’s court filing:
Plantiff(s) voluntarily performed and engaged in the alleged activity and assumed the risk of the injuries and/or damages claimed. Plaintiff(s) failed to use all required, proper, appropriate and reasonable safety devices and/or equipment and failed to take all proper, appropriate and reasonable steps to assure his/her/their safety … Plaintiff(s)’ implied assumption of risk caused or contributed, in whole or in part [sic] to his/her/their injuries.


Let me get this straight. A civilian pedestrian who was 100% in the right of way for crossing the street was 100% at fault when a police officer hit and killed him with her vehicle because he had assumed the risks associated with legally crossing the street.

All across the United States we have police shootings being ruled as justified on the grounds that an officer subjectively feared for their life. Not once have I seen where anyone on the side of the officers stated that perhaps the shooting wasn't justified on the grounds that the officer assumed the risk of having a job which can place their life in danger and therefore they should have exercised extra caution before using lethal force.

The amount of mental gymnastics being employed to make sure the officer in this case isn't held accountable for her negligent actions is offensive. They couldn't even bother to cite her for using a cell phone while driving despite this:


New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices.
Illegal activity includes holding a portable electronic device and:
Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
Playing games
The law defines the following terms as:
(a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
(b) "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.

Exceptions to the Laws
When the driver uses a hands-free mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand.
Using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a vehicle surface.
Using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle.
When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to a police or fire department, a hospital or physician's office, or an ambulance corps.
When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties.

SOURCE

SOURCE




posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 04:38 PM
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I know someone who has been charged with vehicular homicide after running over a pedestrian due to being distracted by their cell phone.

Another example showing how LEO are above the law...



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 04:42 PM
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More reason to distrust cops and generally treat them like crap.

I am losing the moderate stance very quickly. Follow the law, live under it, or you are a criminal.

This is injustice. Should I look with respect and consideration at rapists and thugs?



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 04:45 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock


So what exactly is the defense in this case?

Their official reasoning is as stupid as saying the officer didn't hit the pedestrian, the vehicle did. All official vehicles are exempt… so there.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 04:46 PM
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1) Agree that the way government protects police is wrong.

2) Says officer had light to make a left turn, so pedestrian was jay walking. However, officer should be charged particularly if she was on cell phone.

With that said, when you jay walk, you assume the risk. Hell, even when you aren't jay walking, you have to be aware of your surroundings.

Here in Chicago, I hate trying to make a left turn on Michigan avenue because dumb pedestrians some how weren't taught how to cross a street. They invariably will walk out into the cross walk right when cars are trying to turn left on their green light despite the big flashing NO WALKING sign and it takes too many brain cells to observe that cars are trying to turn left. Invariably, 50% of these idiots are texting, yapping on their phone, or bobbing their heads with their cheap Beats headphones on.

I'm at the point that I want to start handing out points for kills like in a video game.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 05:13 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated

2) Says officer had light to make a left turn, so pedestrian was jay walking. However, officer should be charged particularly if she was on cell phone.
.


The pedestrian had the walk signal. You misread it.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock

That's pretty f#d up to be honest

Why do the people allow this crap to happen ?



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
2) Says officer had light to make a left turn, so pedestrian was jay walking. However, officer should be charged particularly if she was on cell phone.

With that said, when you jay walk, you assume the risk. Hell, even when you aren't jay walking, you have to be aware of your surroundings.


This was not a case of jaywalking. Both the pedestrian and the officer had a green signal plus the pedestrian had the walk signal and was in a designated cross walk. When that's the case the pedestrian always has the right of way.




posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 06:15 PM
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With all of the allegations made against the driver, I would have thought that the NYPD would have settled out of court.

I was always taught that pedestrians have the right-of-way when in a crosswalk walking with the signal. From what I can see, that is the case here. It also appears that the driver didn't use a turn signal, so the pedestrian could not have reasonably expected the driver to make a left turn.

If it is shown that the driver was on her cellphone, then I imagine that there could be extenuating circumstances that would make this into a vehicular homicide case. However, given what we know so far, this does not appear to be the case. In fact it is evident that the driver will face no repercussions for her error.

It's also a little infuriating that the City Attorney used unmodified boilerplate language in their response to the lawsuit. That action demonstrates, on the part of the city, a complete disregard for the importance of this case. I'm under the impression that the plaintiff in this lawsuit is the family, not the murdered victim. So, the boilerplate language isn't even appropriate here.

I really want to give NYC the benefit of the doubt. But it is difficult when I see incidents like this. From the video I've seen and the information I've read, this looks like a clear case of incompetence on the part of the driver; and a pretty clear case of malfeasance on the part of the NYPD.

-dex



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 06:25 PM
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So was there something defective with the signalling system to allow the cars to cross the crossing whilst the pedestrian green man is lit up?
Of course the driver should at all times be alert for pedestrians and just because they are cops does not mean they are above the law. If nothing else the driver should be prosecuted for driving whilst using the cell phone and causing a death.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: CthulhuMythos

took that left turn like a bat out of hell. hate cops, hate criminals, love the 2nd amendment.

oops not directed at you or anyone in general
edit on 22-3-2016 by DrakeINFERNO because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 10:49 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock

Absolutely ridiculous! What this means is that it is perfectly OK to hit and kill any and all pedestrians. If you're allowed to hit and kill the ones who are crossing with the walk signal, then it is certainly open season on those who aren't.

Essentially: murder is now legal, as long as your weapon of choice is a vehicle and your victim is a pedestrian.

Also, New Yorkers, feel free to not use turn signals and to talk on your cell phone while driving.

Nice message NYC.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock

The system is rigged against civilians. Law Enforcement Officers will soon need to decide who's side they're on.

RIP to the gentleman hit. Peace to his family.

Blue Wolf



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:35 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock

When making a left turn in NY you dont have the right of way EVER.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:59 PM
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Terrible tragedy.
Clearly, the Police officer was in the wrong by...Not indicating, Talking on phone being distracted, Not giving way to pedestrian, Not driving with due care, turning too quickly for the traffic conditions.

As far as blame, should be 95% against the police officer and 5% against the pedestrian.
The 5% is because the pedestrian Should have been more alert While crossing the road. He should have noticed the van and made a mental note that it could be a potential hazzard.

I would think the "City/State" had made the ruling to try to alleviate any responsibilty, or as little responsibilty as possible, to try to minimise any monetary compensation, that will be claimed by the man's family.
As the Police office is a City official, the city is responsible.

I would think the victims lawyer will appeal, and if that fails, take out a civil suit against the City for "Damages", ie future earnings, loss, grief, pain and suffering of the Family.
Tho Im not sure of the compensation laws of NY, but I would think the Family would have grounds for Millions??

Either way, some smart, considerate driving by the PO would have prevented all this mess and loss of life from happening.
I hope she is severely penalised.....Tho once again...that would affect her family then, who are also completely innocent of her stupidity.
edit on 23-3-2016 by gort51 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 07:22 AM
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This is just how life is. People like it this way. You and I are bound to a different set of rules than anybody in a government position.

Life is a joke... and not a very funny one.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
1) Agree that the way government protects police is wrong.

2) Says officer had light to make a left turn, so pedestrian was jay walking. However, officer should be charged particularly if she was on cell phone.

With that said, when you jay walk, you assume the risk. Hell, even when you aren't jay walking, you have to be aware of your surroundings.

Here in Chicago, I hate trying to make a left turn on Michigan avenue because dumb pedestrians some how weren't taught how to cross a street. They invariably will walk out into the cross walk right when cars are trying to turn left on their green light despite the big flashing NO WALKING sign and it takes too many brain cells to observe that cars are trying to turn left. Invariably, 50% of these idiots are texting, yapping on their phone, or bobbing their heads with their cheap Beats headphones on.

I'm at the point that I want to start handing out points for kills like in a video game.


The walk light was on, its always on for those left turn people. They have to wait. That is the LAW. Obeying the traffic lights is law and its the only thing that keeps everyone safe.

Police Van 100% at fault for this death.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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This is one the main reasons I could not care any less when a cop gets killed.....especially by ambush.

I don't care if you think you are a good cop. Just being a cop in this injustice system makes you a criminal. Period.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: FraggleRock

Similar case in Grants Pass oregon news, guy in crosswalk killed by retired Congressman, no charges.



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