Last April, a 27-year-old Tamon Robinson was fatally struck by a police car. Robinson was caught stealing paving stones from a housing project in Brooklyn and was attempting to flee from the scene when the incident occurred. NYPD’s initial report claimed there were no witnesses at the time of the tragedy, but Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has doubts.
Hynes will hire an independent expert to investigate Robinson’s death after interviewing multiple people who witnessed Robinson’s death, according to NYDailyNews.com. An independent accident reconstruction expert is expected to examine other possible inconsistencies, such as whether the sizable dent in the squad car is consistent with the police report account that Robinson struck a parked vehicle. Results from the expert report will help determine whether the DA pursues a case against the NYPD and the officers driving the death car. “We have spoken to all of the witnesses and we believe we need an outside accident reconstruction expert, which we are in the process of doing,” said D.A. spokesman Jerry Schmetterer.
Zina Callahan, a witness who witnessed the tragedy from her third-floor window, told the D.A. what she saw and heard. “I heard the cops say over their loudspeaker, ‘Stop f—— running!’ and that made me jump to the window,” Callahan said. “The cop car sped up and hit him. I screamed. He went up in the air.” Callahan’s testimony will be crucial in the wrongful death lawsuit Robinson’s mother, Laverne Dobbinson, filed against the city, the NYPD, Officer Volkan Uretener and Sgt. Miguel Cueto last Wednesday. “It is clear what the witnesses saw happen is totally inconsistent with what the police say in their report,” said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to a request for comment. A Law Department spokeswoman said the papers had not been received but will be reviewed thoroughly.