The family of a deli worker who was killed by a panhandler who stole an NYPD officer’s gun is suing the city for $20 million in what they feel is a wrongful death claim.
49-year-old Wali Camara was shot by a vagrant Efrain Guzman on August 9 after Guzman seized NYPD Officer Jorge Monge’s 9mm pistol, firing 15 rounds as he was being thrown out of a nearby store.
Camara was an employee at a nearby deli-grocery that had run afoul of Guzman, who was begging for money. When Guzman left to go next door, the employees of the second store called the police.
During a struggle with Officer Monge and his partner, the 30-year-old Guzman seized Monge’s Glock service pistol, managing to empty the 15-round magazine before being put down by Monge’s partner.
“As a result of the tragic death of Wali Camara, the police commissioner has announced all city uniformed police officers will be receiving new, more secure, gun holsters with an automatic locking system to replace the holster used at the time of Wali Camara’s death,” noted lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, who is representing Camara’s family.
According to the New York Daily News, the deadly incident all started over the sum of two Dollars.
The NYPD is being targeted by Rubenstein and his clients for what they feel is poor weapons retention training, poor suspect handling and subpar equipment -namely a batch of Safariland holsters- that were picked up by NYPD after California’s LAPD rejected them two decades ago.
“The city and NYPD have failed to respond appropriately to past complaints of faulty gun holsters and police procedure and training of bolstering a firearm, not only by their own Internal Affairs Bureau, but also the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Mollen Commission reports and other public reports,” court documents state.
Camara’s son was reportedly given an emergency visa to come from Mali to the United States, in order to escort his father back to a family plot in Africa.
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