NEW YORK – Two police officers who killed a 16-year-old boy on a New York City street have been sued several times for alleged civil rights violations, the Daily News reported Saturday.
The city has paid $215,000 to settle three lawsuits against Sgt. Mourad Mourad and two against officer Jovaniel Cordova, the newspaper reported.
The officers were in Brooklyn's East Flatbush section March 9 when they tried to stop and question 16-year-old Kimani Gray on the street. Police say the officers, who were not wearing uniforms, shot the teen after he pulled a gun.
Gray's killing prompted a week of protest marches in Brooklyn, including some incidents that turned violent, with men ransacking a market and throwing items at police officers and police vehicles.
The civil rights lawsuits against Mourad and Cordova were all by people who claimed they were illegally stopped and roughed up under the police department's controversial "stop, question and frisk," program, where officers approach and confront people who look like they might be carrying weapons.
The city's law department said it had a practice of settling many lawsuits for small amounts to save money on litigation.
"As we've said many times, being named in a lawsuit is not an indication of wrongdoing, and neither is settlement," a Law Department spokesman, Liz Thomas, said in a statement. "Many factors, not the least of which is the inherent risk of jury trial, contribute to the decision to settle a case."