Officer’s Gun & Holster Demanded After Shooting

     BRONX, N.Y. (CN) — The family of a deli clerk shot to death with a gun ripped from a police officer’s holster is headed to court with an attorney involved in New York City’s highest-profile cases of police negligence.
     Sanford Rubinstein with Rubenstein & Rynecki petitioned for evidence preservation Wednesday just over a week after the fatal shooting of 49-year-old Wali Camara.
     The 4-page filing in Bronx County Supreme Court says “panhandler” Efrain Guzman managed to fire off 15 shots with the gun he seized from the holster of police officer Jorge Monge.
     As reported by local news affiliate CBS2, the melee began at about 1 a.m. in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx.
     Locals had flagged down police because 30-year-old Guzman had allegedly been arguing with clerks and customers at two bodegas on East 198th Street, including the A&M Deli where Guzman worked.
     Monge and another officer had been escorting Guzman out of a store when the man seized the gun and killed Camara, according to the article. CBS said Guzman had continued firing even after he was shot by the other officer.
     The petition Rubenstein filed Wednesday indicates that Camara’s family is planning to sue police for negligence and “does not want to run the risk that … evidence will be destroyed.”
     “It is believed that in absence of an order issued by this court, the service weapon discharged and the holster used to hold said service weapon could be discarded,” the petition states.
     Rubenstein also wants any footage collected from the incident, recordings of any related 911 calls and the names of eyewitnesses.
     “Disclosure of these investigation files and supporting documentation is necessary for claimant to piece together the events of that day and the actions of the officers, particularly regarding the holstering of the gun which was taken from Police Officer Monge’s holster, which lead (sic) to Mr. Camara’s death.”
     Rubenstein notes that his client also wishes to “conduct his own investigation and endeavors to speak with eyewitnesses … while the incident is still fresh in their minds.”
     CBS reported that Camara had emigrated to the United States 20 years ago from Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa. It said Guzman has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a firearm, menacing a police officer and reckless endangerment.
     Rubenstein recently reached a $4 million settlement with the city for the family of Akai Gurley, an unarmed man shot to death by rookie cop Peter Liang in the stairwell of his apartment building.
     The attorney helped secure a $7 million settlement meanwhile for the family of Sean Bell, the unarmed black man police killed in 2006, on what would have been his wedding day.
     The family of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man killed in an illegal police chokehold while selling loose cigarettes, had tapped Rubenstein for their case initially, but later found new counsel.

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