The lawyers for the New York City Housing Authority are seeking a dismissal of a lawsuit against them by the family of a college student who was fatally shot in a East Harlem city housing project two years ago. NYCHA lawyers claim that the victim should have known the "obvious" risks of living there. "I can’t believe they’re saying she’s responsible for her murder," Crystal Brown, mother of victim Olivia Brown, told the Post. "Everybody has a right to be safe in their home. Why wasn’t my daughter safe? Because we’re poor and live in public housing?"
Olivia Brown, 23, was killed at the Lincoln Houses in July 2013, which happened a few days after five then-Democratic mayoral candidates, including Mayor de Blasio, spent the night there. Her mother sued NYCHA for lax security at the public housing, and for allowing the alleged killer, Michele Graham, to trespass on the premises.
"I'm suing Housing because the woman who killed my daughter should have never been on these premises. She has a criminal history. She has felony arrests. Why wasn't she kicked out?" Crystal Brown said at the time.
NYCHA filed their official response to the suit this week, claiming that it couldn't have prevented the shooting. "All the risks, hazards and dangers were open, obvious and apparent to [Brown] and said risks, hazards and dangers were openly and voluntarily assumed by [Brown]," said the documents. "Such damages and injuries are attributable, in whole or in part, to the culpable conduct of the plaintiff’s decedent and/or third parties."
"If the language in the...city’s papers is taken as case specific, I do not agree that anyone should be deemed to have assumed the risk of being shot, merely by walking in the public area of a New York City Housing project," said the family's lawyer, Kyle Watters.