New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., announces the filing of a federal lawsuit by Tricia Lara claiming that members of the NYPD refused to watch an ‘exonerating’ Ring video resulting in her ‘false’ arrest
NEW YORK, N.Y., December 13, 2022 – Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., a leader in representing civil rights victims in New York City, today announced that Tricia Lara, a Registered Nurse has filed a 4-count federal civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the City of New York and several members of the NYPD.
According to the NYPD website, it responds to approximately 230,000 domestic incidents annually, or nearly six-hundred calls a day. The NYPD claims, domestic violence prevention police officers face unpredictable, potentially volatile situations and therefore, are highly trained to help ensure victims’ safety as well as their own. In addition to enforcing the laws and working to ensure victims’ safety, the NYPD Domestic Violence Unit performs domestic violence awareness outreach. Each local precinct and police service area has a domestic violence office.
Ms. Lara alleges that her personal experience as a Black female victim of domestic violence, is that her claims were treated as a mere bother and her equal protection rights in particular the application of the primary physical aggressor defense under the criminal procedure law and defenses of justification under the penal law designed to prevent false arrests and malicious prosecutions were not applied.
On June 30, 2022, Ms. Lara was the sole resident and leaseholder of a residential apartment located in the County of Kings and licensed registered nurse in the state of New York, she was the primary caregiver of her mother.
Ms. Lara claims, she didn’t socialize with Ms. Ansila E. Bryant because she has a history of assaulting people, committing thefts, other property related crimes and frauds here and abroad in Trinidad, according to the federal complaint. Ms. Lara claims, she did not visit Ms. Bryant or others on her mother’s side of the family nor did Bryant visit with her.
According to the federal complaint, later that evening, Ms. Bryant forcibly pushed past her while striking her in the chest twice with her fists. Ms. Lara claims, she then protected herself and her property punching Bryant in the face to stop any further physical violence against her and further intrusion inside of the apartment. Afraid to be alone, Ms. lara headed to the 61st Precinct but, an unidentified officer refused to watch the Ring video or file a report to have Ms. Bryant arrested. He did however, contact Police Officers Richard Powers and Robert Emmanuel who responded to her home to interview Ms. Bryant. Powers nor Emmanuel ever interviewed Ms. Lara consistent with the law and department policy, according to the federal complaint. According to the federal complaint, Powers and Emmanuel accepted the ‘false’ representations of Ms. Bryant supported by Ms. Patrice Roberts, Adanna Assan and her mother. The video of the ‘false’ tale is captured on the body cameras assigned to Powers and Emmanuel; meanwhile, Powers and Emmanuel disregarded the Ring surveillance camera with easily retrievable ‘exonerating’ video clearly visible on a nearby cabinet in the living room.
On July 1, 2022, Ms. Lara claims, she walked into the 61st Precinct again to report the crimes committed against her by Ms. Bryant. Ms. Lara met with Police Officer Claudia Linzon who prepared a domestic incident report, intentionally misstated the circumstances of the incident and listed the offense as Harassment, according to the federal complaint; meanwhile, Ms. Lara claims, if you read the allegations written, it constitutes Burglary in the Second Degree a C Felony an index-crime. Ms. Lara claims, Officer Pinzon failed to properly investigate her complaint.
Later that day, according to the federal complaint, Detective Philip DiSanto entered an Active Investigation Card into the E-Justice System for the NYPD and other law enforcement personnel to arrest her for the crime of Assault in the Third Degree a Misdemeanor. Ms. Lara claims, Detective DiSanto nor his supervisor Sergeant Wanyory ever contacted her regarding the Active Investigation Card endangering her health, safety and welfare.
On July 4, 2022, Ms. Lara claims, she walked into the 61st Precinct to inquire about the complaint she filed with Officer Pinzon and met with Police Officer Yulia Braginsky, who told her that there’s no complaint filed under her name but, there’s a warrant for her arrest. Ms. Lara claims, she pleaded with Officer Braginsky that she’s the victim and there’s a Ring surveillance video to prove it; however, when Ms. Lara claims to have attempted to show Officer Braginsky the Ring surveillance video on her personal cellular telephone but, she declined telling her to speak with the detective and placed her in handcuffs. Ms. Lara claims, Officer Braginsky failed to properly investigate her claims.
Ms. Lara claims, Detective Stefan Olynyk then ‘falsely’ documented on all arrest and other department records including the misdemeanor information he was the arresting officer. There’s no mention of Officer Braginsky actually arresting her.
Ms. Lara claims, that after several court appearances and the People reviewing the Ring surveillance video, on or about December 8, 2022, on the day of trial moved to dismiss representing to the Court, upon further review the wrong person was arrested.
To this day, Ms. Lara claims, the NYPD failed in their legal obligation to ensure Ms. Bryant is arrested for the crime of Burglary in the Second Degree a C Felony and to protect her equal rights under the law.
“That’s a big problem,” her lawyer, Eric Sanders said. “They [the NYPD officers] claim to have all this training, but yet they don’t follow it.”
“Over the years, primarily female victims of domestic violence complain about the NYPD handling of these matters. Unfortunately, as usual, it takes civil litigation to force the Department towards organizational change,” said Sanders. “With this litigation, we hope to accomplish organizational and structural changes that better serves its victims of domestic violence.”
This federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on December 13, 2022, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York: Lara v. City of New York, et al. Docket No.: 22-cv-7542.
About The Sanders Firm, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights.
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