The New York City Police Department has reportedly ordered the family of a man who died after being struck by an NYPD squad car to pay for damage to that vehicle.
The New York Daily News reports that Laverne Dobbinson, 45, had been ordered to pay $710 by a collection agency hired by the city in connection to the April incident that killed Tamon Robinson in Brooklyn.
“We’re still grieving, and this is like a slap in the face,” Dobbinson told the newspaper. “They want my son to pay for damage to the vehicle that killed him. It’s crazy.”
According to a Sept. 27 letter, which threatens a lawsuit if the claim isn’t paid, the city is seeking the funds for “property damage to a vehicle owned” by the NYPD.
Police have said Robinson was fleeing after being caught stealing decorative stones from the grounds of the Bayview Houses in Canarsie on April 12. He was struck by a vehicle driven by Officer Volkan Uretener and never regained consciousness after slipping into a coma.
The city’s medical examiner ruled his death an accident, the newspaper reports. A spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said the incident remains under investigation. Separately, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is also probing allegations from witnesses that Robinson was deliberately mowed down.