DA Begins Inquiry Into NYPD-Involved Pedestrian Fatality

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office is beginning an inquiry into the collision that killed Karen Schmeer last Friday,
and expects to review all circumstances leading up the crash, according to a spokesperson. Witnesses
cited by the Daily News say cops pursued three men suspected of petty theft at an Upper West
Side pharmacy before the getaway driver hit Schmeer at Broadway and 90th Street. The man suspected of driving the car that struck Schmeer has been charged with second degree murder.

Meanwhile, the DA’s office has found no evidence that former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir broke any laws during a January 8 incident involving a pedestrian on the Upper East Side, the spokesperson said.

"Our office conducted a further factual inquiry, which we often do," the spokesperson told Streetsblog. "We did not find any evidence of a crime, and therefore the inquiry is closed."

From what Streetsblog has been able to ascertain, there was no proof of injury to Joanne Valarezo, the 30-year-old pregnant Bronx woman who said Safir bumped her with his SUV and, after she confronted him, drove away. Though police reported that Safir did indeed back into Valarezo and leave the scene, Safir later said he was unaware he hit anyone as he maneuvered his double-parked Escalade on Third Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. The DA’s office decided not to pursue the inquiry further since details of the incident hinged on conflicting stories.

We are continuing to follow developments in the case of Fuen Bai, the Delancey Street cyclist killed by a bus driver last month, as well as the January 4 hit-and-run death of an unidentified 77-year-old pedestrian on Lexington Avenue at E. 42 Street. We also asked for the latest on the January 2009 crash in Chinatown that killed toddlers Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez. We should have updates next week.

  • jonesy

    Is there anything we John Q Publics should do? Should we be writing the police department or anything? I realize the politics between DOT/Police etc being what they are, our voices may be nothing.

  • Angry Pete

    Thanks Brad,

    Not surprised about Safir, but whatever. SOP.

    I am very interested in hearing about the investigation of Fuen Bai’s death. The DA’s office indicated to me that the police have acknowledged there wasn’t enough information from the initial report, and sent cops out to re-interview witnesses. Keep on them!

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