The New York Daily News recently reported that three Staten Island police officers from the precinct under fire in Eric Garner’s death were also involved in the “accidental” death of Irving Mizell, a 52-year-old man who died in custody last spring.
The medical examiner had ruled his death as “accidental” due to a heart attack and acute intoxication, but the incident resurfaced this week when a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
According to the suit, Mizell was “viciously” beaten by officers during his arrest on March 7, 2013, after he violated an order of protection his girlfriend had against him. Despite his complaints of having difficulty breathing while he was being booked at the 120th Precinct, Mizell was ignored until he collapsed nearly three hours later. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
“To say his death was an ‘accident’ is absurd,” Thomas Giuffra, the lawyer representing Mizell’s family in the suit, told the Daily News. “It’s shocking to me that this could happen in New York City in the 21st century.”
He claims that Mizell’s autopsy displayed multiple blunt impact injuries to the head, torso and extremities, multiple cuts and a bruised lung.
Disciplinary charges have been recommended by a police review panel against the cops for using excessive force and failing to obtain medical treatment for Mizell. Additionally, the review panel revealed that its investigation had substantiated allegations that two cops had not obtained medical treatment for Mizell and a third officer had used excessive force and given investigators a false statement. Still, all three officers remain on full duty.
On July 17, officers from the same precinct caused the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner after using a banned chokehold and failing to provide aid to the asthmatic 350-pound-man who complained of difficulty breathing. The Daily News also found that seven of New York City’s most-sued cops are based in one of the precinct's narcotics unit.
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