A Brooklyn, N.Y., mother has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department, the Metropolitan Transit Authority and four officers, demanding answers as to how her 17-year-old son ended up paralyzed and eventually dead, DNAinfo New York reports.
Karen Fludd says she has gotten very little information about what happened last May when her son, Deion, wound up a quadriplegic. Fludd, who filed the suit on March 26 in Brooklyn Supreme Court, says that before her son died a little over a month after the incident, he told her his side of the story.
According to the NYPD, four officers saw the young man with his girlfriend on May 5 "fare beating," squeezing their way through a turnstile with only one MetroCard swipe, DNAinfo notes.
Officers say that when they stopped the couple, asking for ID and beginning to make an arrest, Deion ran onto the tracks. Police say that’s when a train nicked him, fracturing his skull and two parts of his spine.
Fludd, however, says that Deion was never hit by a train. “We asked him if he got hit by a train. He immediately said, ‘No,’” his mother told the news site. “He was very adamant that he did not get hit by a train.”
Deion did admit to running from the officers when they tried to arrest him but said that one of the officers caught him and hit him on the back of the head with a flashlight. He told his mother that the officers held him down, putting their feet on his back.
“They said, ‘Oh, you gonna be running? We are going to make sure your ass don’t run again,’” Deion allegedly told his mother while he was being treated at Kings County Hospital.
While fading in and out of consciousness, Deion also remembered the officers taking him back to the tracks. His mother believes that the officers took him there in an attempt to cover up an assault. “I just want the truth. Everyone needs to know how these officers conducted themselves,” Fludd says. “If these officers acted badly, then the public needs to know this.”
Fludd’s lawyer is arguing that there was no way Deion was hit by a train, given his injuries. “If a subway hits you, you get more than a fracture of the skull,” Paul Fino Jr. said, according to DNAinfo. He had no other injuries other than the fracture and damage to his spine. MTA records, however, do point to someone being hit by a train at that place and time.
Still, even if the train did hit him, Fino is questioning why the officers did not call for subway traffic to be stopped until the pursuit was over.
Deion had gotten in trouble for fare beating before, according to DNAinfo. But his mother says that was not his intent at the time of his fatal encounter. She says the boy’s girlfriend, Hesha Sanchez, squeezed through the turnstile with him to keep him company while he waited for his train home. “[His girlfriend] wasn’t gonna go with him,” Fludd says. “[The officers] never bothered to ask him that. Deion was upset. That’s why he ran.”
Read more at DNAinfo New York.