2006_01_hernandez.jpgThe mother of police officer Eric Hernandez who died from shots fired by another officer is filing a lawsuit for $50 million in damages. Hernandez, who was off-duty when he visited a Bronx White Castle, had been beaten by a group of men and was crawling outside, with his gun in hand, when police officer Alfredo Toro responded to the scene. Toro, not realizing Hernandez was a fellow officer, shot him in the legs and abdomen when Hernandez didn't lower his gun. There is thought that Hernandez also thought Toro might have been another attacker, and doctors believe the beating affected his ability to hear. His mother, Cynthia Salich, said, "Eric is obedient. When the officers told Eric to drop the gun, he was ailing. The police officer didn't give Eric reasonable time and opportunity to lower his gun against the person he thought had attacked him inside the restaurant." What Gothamist is curious about are the reports that Hernandez was drunk when he went to the White Castle - and the fact that officers should not draw their guns when drinking. Should Hernandez's impaired judgement be on trial?

The Post says the lawsuit will name the city, NYPD and officer Toro, while the Daily News says the suit will not name Toro. And the Daily News points out that the city paid $3 million to settle a $50 million wrongful cop-on-cop 1994 shooting.