The family of Briana Ojeda, the 11-year-old girl who died of an asthma attack over the summer, filed a wrongful death suit yesterday against the NYPD and the officer who they claim refused to help their daughter. Her mother, Carmen, claims officer Alfonso Mendez stopped her while she was rushing to the hospital (she was going the wrong way down a one-way street), and then "smirked" as he told her he didn't know CPR. She says the delay cost her daughter her life.
The family is seeking $17 million in damages from the city and the NYPD; their lawyer told CBS, “[We’re suing them] for letting this child die and not making any effort for give her CPR, and to punish the police commissioner for not stepping up to the plate and immediately changing police protocol and procedure." Currently, NYPD officers are trained in CPR in police academy, but the Ojedas and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz are attempting to create "Briana's Law," which would require officers to get re-certified for CPR every year, and make it a crime for an officer to refuse help in a health emergency.
Ortiz told NY1, "If the police department is training their police offers to fire their guns twice or three times a year, I do not can see that couldn't be doable that this legislation can be helpful and benefit the police department." Officer Mendez was suspended for thirty days without pay after the incident for "failing to take proper police action."