New York News
Family sues city after daughter's asthma death
NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was an emotional day in court for the family of a little girl who died from an asthma attack.
They're suing after an NYPD officer didn't help them on the way to the hospital.
The family of Briana Ojeda went to court Thursday because they want their attorney to be able to question not only the officer who failed to help the little girl, but the police commissioner as well.
It's been a year and a half since the death of the 11-year-old from an asthma attack, but for her parents, it still seems like it was yesterday.
"I go to the cemetery to feel her spirit," said Carmen Ojeda, Briana's mother.
The pain of Briana Ojeda's mother is still so palpable, so visible, as she and other family members gathered with supporters on the courthouse steps in downtown Brooklyn.
It was in August of 2010 that the 11-year-old's frantic mother tried to drive her dying daughter to the hospital, driving the wrong way down a street, and enlisting an NYPD officer to help.
He allegedly said he didn't know CPR and then tried to stop the mother from continuing on.
Originally, the Police Commissioner raised doubts an NYPD officer was actually involved.
But later, the Commissioner ordered NYPD Officer Alfonso Mendez suspended without pay.
Now Briana's family who's filed a lawsuit against the city wants the officer deposed, along with the Police Commissioner himself.
"We have a right to depose Commissioner Kelly, not only because he is the police commissioner of the City of New York, but he is a defendant in this lawsuit," Bonita Zellman, the family's attorney said.
The family's attorney is also demanding the city turn over the officer's employment and disciplinary records along with cell phone and 911 calls.
They called Thursday for passage of a bill that would mandate annual CPR retraining and certification for police officers.
Right now, they only receive initial training in the academy.
The family says no one should bury a child whose death could have been prevented.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered
new york city, raymond kelly, asthma, nypd, lawsuit, new york news, sarah wallace
- Mom 'steals' car - without even realizing it
- AccuWeather: Clear and Cold
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- DISH Network signs on for WATCH ABC app
- Man claims football players beat him in Soho club
- N.J. woman charged with trying to kill her 3 children
- Firefighters rescue 80-year-old man from Bronx fire Wednesday...
- Fire at Red Carpet Inn in Elmwood Park, New Jersey
- Suspect in Boston rice cooker incident sent to psych hospital
- 7 dead, 290 missing in South Korea ferry disaster
- Rare spring snow coats cars, slicks roads
- Photos: Spring snow around New York area
- Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on "The View"
- Drugs stashed in hiding places in Manhattan apartments
Eyewitness News Links
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos