Two men who claim they were injured by police during the wild shootout in Harlem in early August have filed notices of claim to sue the city. Devon Riley says he suffered a fractured elbow, and Kirt Liburd says he suffered a laceration to his head, during the chaotic street-clearing shooting, in which 46 bullets were fired by police.
The two men are seeking $5 million in damages. "Once again, we have innocent bystanders beaten indiscriminately by police with their nightsticks," said their lawyer Sanford Rubenstein. According to Riley, a maintenance worker for the Long Island Rail Road, and Liburd, a baker at Cosi in the East Village, they heard gunfire around the corner from 143rd St., where they were packing up food and sodas around 3 a.m. on Aug. 8. They ran toward the sound of shots looking for a friend who was hanging out on Lenox Ave. and saw cops around the bodies of two wounded men on the pavement; cops then charged the onlookers, hitting them with their batons.
Also, the cop who was shot in the vest during the melee, Officer Michael Tedeschi, was on an NYPD monitoring list because of excessive force complaints. Tedeschi fired 16 shots, and was ultimately hit by a police bullet. The defense lawyer for Angel Alvarez, one of the men who sparked the initial fight and who was shot over 21 times, said Tedeschi's history should be a "red flag" for prosecutors: "He's a risk."