Alleged Unlicensed Driver Kills Brooklyn Pedestrian While Fleeing Police
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 23, 2010
An unlicensed driver fleeing police crashed into another vehicle and killed 21-year-old Dave Jones on a Brooklyn sidewalk Monday, raising questions about whether the officers adhered to NYPD policy on vehicular pursuits.
Police pulled over 18-year-old Raymond Ramos near Schenectady Avenue and Sterling Place in Crown Heights after midnight Monday, according to DNAinfo.
As the officers approached, Ramos drove away. With police in pursuit, Ramos made it seven blocks before his car collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Nostrand Avenue and St. Johns Place, police said.
Both cars barreled up onto the sidewalk fatally plowing into a pedestrian who was walking north, a preliminary investigation by the NYPD showed.
Ramos hit Jones, who died of head injuries at Kings County Hospital. Three people in the other vehicle were injured, DNAinfo reported.
The Post also reported that, according to police, the crash occurred after Ramos “led cops on a brief chase.”
Ramos was charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment, homicide, fleeing police, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, speeding, and other traffic infractions, according to court records. His next court appearance is set for Friday.
DNAinfo reported that, according to anonymous police sources, officers who pulled Ramos over “smelled marijuana coming from his vehicle,” but no charges were issued for impaired driving or drug possession.
There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened Monday. The crash happened about a mile from the location of the traffic stop. Judging from a Daily News photo that shows both vehicles overturned on the sidewalk, Ramos was driving at high speed at the time of impact. After Ramos fled the traffic stop, did officers chase him at speed through a Brooklyn neighborhood? Were they in pursuit when Ramos hit the second car? At the very least, an investigation is warranted to determine whether the pursuit conformed to protocol.
The NYPD Patrol Guide states:
Department policy requires that a vehicle pursuit be terminated whenever the risks to uniformed members of the service and the public outweigh the danger to the community if [the] suspect is not immediately apprehended.
When Karen Schmeer was killed in 2010 as police pursued a suspected shoplifter on the Upper West Side, NYPD Deputy Inspector Kathleen O’Reilly, commanding officer of the 24th Precinct at the time, said afterward that officers should not chase a suspect’s vehicle even after a shooting. “We’ve got ballistics. We’ve got evidence,” said O’Reilly. “We’ll track them down.”
After a spate of crashes in 2009 and 2010, then-public advocate Bill de Blasio indicated on Twitter that he would investigate NYPD’s pursuit policy. We emailed de Blasio spokesperson Wiley Norvell to ask about the mayor’s 2010 pledge, and if NYPD is investigating Monday’s crash.
“The Crash Investigation Squad is conducting a full investigation,” Norvell replied.