In a strange case of blaming the victim, lawyers for New York City say the family of a woman murdered at her home in New York City’s East Harlem community does not deserve a court settlement because the 23-year-old woman should have known the risks of living in public housing, according to the New York Post.
In court papers filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court, lawyers for the New York City Housing Authority allege that the death of Olivia Brown during a shooting in 2013 at the Lincoln Houses, allegedly by a trespasser, was “spontaneous” and “unavoidable, the report says.
“All the risks, hazards and dangers were open, obvious and apparent to [Brown] and said risks, hazards and dangers were openly and voluntarily assumed by [Brown],” the documents say, writes the Post.
The papers were filed by housing lawyers in an effort to dismiss a wrongful death suit filed last year by Brown’s mother, Crystal Brown, 51, who charges that a lack of security allowed an ex-tenant, Michele “Mohawk” Graham, to enter the premises before she fatally shot her daughter after a dispute.
“I can’t believe they’re saying she’s responsible for her murder,” Crystal Brown told the Post Friday.
But housing lawyers say they could not have prevented the shooting, the report says.
“Such damages and injuries are attributable, in whole or in part, to the culpable conduct of the plaintiff’s decedent and/or third parties,” the agency’s lawyers wrote in response, according to the Post.
Now-Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayoral candidates spent a night at the Lincoln Houses three days before the July 2013 shooting as part of their campaign for office, the report says.
In recent months, Crystal Brown says, police have stepped up security near the housing project, adding two police towers and installing security cameras in her building, the report says.
“They knew she wasn’t even supposed to be on the property because she was arrested before for being here,” she told the Post about the woman accused of killing her daughter.
Read more at the New York Post.