Within the Bronx neighborhood the place Eric Duprey lived, his fellow filth bike and bike riders stated he usually rode down the road performing his signature transfer, along with his entrance tire straight up within the air. However residents additionally stated the realm was a spot the place jobs had been laborious to come back by, medication had been prevalent and encounters with the police may very well be fraught.
On Wednesday night, Mr. Duprey, 30, was on a motorcycle, fleeing narcotics officers who had been trying to arrest him, the police stated, when a sergeant, Erik Duran, threw a cooler at him. Mr. Duprey misplaced management of the bike, hitting a tree and a automobile earlier than the bike toppled over and he fell to the bottom, a surveillance video reviewed by The New York Occasions exhibits. He was pronounced useless on the scene 4 minutes later.
On Friday, the New York Metropolis health worker’s workplace dominated Mr. Duprey’s loss of life a murder. The state legal professional basic’s workplace is investigating the incident.
The episode unfolded over just some minutes round 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Within the days since, Mr. Duprey’s household has disputed the Police Division’s account, and protesters have referred to as for legal expenses towards the sergeant who threw the cooler.
In response to police officers, undercover narcotics officers had been close to 192nd Road and Aqueduct Avenue conducting a “buy-and-bust” — an operation to catch unsuspecting drug sellers within the space. In the course of the operation, the police stated, Mr. Duprey bought narcotics to one of many officers, which prompted undercover and plainclothes officers close by to maneuver in to arrest him.
A person, whom the police didn’t determine, rolled a motorcycle over to Mr. Duprey, who obtained on and sped down Aqueduct Avenue, the police stated.
Moments later, close to the nook of one hundred and ninetieth Road, the video exhibits Mr. Duprey driving onto the sidewalk and heading towards a bunch of individuals sitting at a desk, which matches the police account.
It was then that Sergeant Duran grabbed a plastic cooler from the desk and threw it at Mr. Duprey, an motion captured by the surveillance digicam.
Mr. Duprey’s brother, Ryan Rodriguez, stated he and Mr. Duprey had been collectively on Wednesday, lingering on the sidewalk on the east facet of Aqueduct Avenue.
“We had been simply right here chilling and smoking, the identical factor we do each day,” stated Mr. Rodriguez, 21. Then, he stated, a bunch of cops approached Mr. Duprey whereas he was seated on a good friend’s borrowed bike with the engine off.
Mr. Duprey began the bike and raced north in an try to outrun the police, Mr. Rodriguez stated, including that the explanation that his brother had fled was that the bike was not registered.
“He was scared they’d take his bike away,” Mr. Rodriguez stated.
However Mr. Duprey discovered cops on the subsequent intersection, Mr. Rodriguez stated. He whirled the bike round and drove south, on the sidewalk.
Sergeant Duran didn’t shout at Mr. Duprey to cease, Mr. Rodriguez stated, including, “He picked up the cooler and simply smashed it on his face.”
When Mr. Duprey fell to the bottom with the bike on high of him, Mr. Rodriguez stated, Sergeant Duran ran over and lifted the bike from his physique earlier than performing CPR. However Mr. Duprey was clearly useless.
“It simply broke my coronary heart,” Mr. Rodriguez stated.
Sergeant Duran was suspended with out pay on Thursday, police officers stated in a assertion posted to social media. The Police Division stated its power investigation division would assist with the legal professional basic’s investigation.
“The N.Y.P.D. is dedicated to making sure that there shall be a full, thorough, clear investigation of this incident to find out the details and to take the suitable steps ahead,” the division stated in a press release.
On Saturday, Jonathan Roberts, a lawyer representing Mr. Duprey’s household, stated in a press release that Mr. Duprey had been “a loving associate, father and son who offered monetary and emotional help to his household.”
He added that “nothing can mitigate this household’s ache, however the person who dedicated this heinous act should be held accountable.”
Sergeant Duran’s lawyer, Andrew C. Quinn, stated there was extra to the scenario than the video clip confirmed.
“What’s indisputably clear is that the deceased, who was intent on evading arrest for promoting medication to an undercover officer, was rushing on a motorcycle in an extremely harmful method down a crowded sidewalk, jeopardizing the life and security of everybody there,” Mr. Quinn stated in a press release on Friday. “As soon as a full and full investigation is carried out, we’re totally assured that Sergeant Duran shall be exonerated of any misconduct or wrongdoing.”
The swift suspension of Sergeant Duran, 35, a 13-year police veteran, provoked pushback throughout the division. One high-ranking officer stated Sergeant Duran “had tried to make a lawful arrest” and that utilizing a cooler to cease Mr. Duprey was equal to “closing the door” to stop somebody from leaving.
The state legal professional basic’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to questions on Saturday about the potential for legal expenses towards Sergeant Duran.
It was unclear whether or not the sergeant’s actions violated guidelines specified by the Police Division’s patrol information. A division spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Saturday.
As a result of cops face many unforeseeable circumstances within the area, the division doesn’t at all times have particular steering on what officers ought to and mustn’t do in response to unstable conditions or after they understand a menace to themselves or others, stated Maria Haberfeld, the chair of the Division of Regulation, Police Science and Felony Justice Administration at John Jay School of Felony Justice.
“This isn’t one thing that you just’re going to see within the patrol information, that you could decide up a cooler and throw it,” she stated.
On Saturday afternoon, dozens of individuals joined activists for a small rally on the web site of Mr. Duprey’s loss of life. Many arrived on motorbikes, which they parked in a protracted row down the sidewalk.
Chivona Newsome, a founding father of Black Lives Matter of Larger New York, referred to as on the state legal professional basic to cost Sergeant Duran with homicide.
“He must be charged the identical manner as if I threw a cooler at somebody,” she stated.
A day earlier, Mr. Rodriguez held solemn courtroom at a memorial for Mr. Duprey, which included bouquets of flowers, bottles of Corona beer and tequila, many dozens of colourful votive candles, and blown-up shade images of Mr. Duprey along with his spouse and two younger youngsters.
“I would like justice for my brother,” Mr. Rodriguez stated. “I would like that officer locked in jail.”
Chelsia Rose Marcius contributed reporting.