The Transportation Alternatives community rally in support of Jacob Stevens’s lawsuit against the NYPD.
Today, Transportation Alternatives, Clara Heyworth’s widowed husband, Jacob Stevens, and concerned New Yorkers rallied on the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department to reform their traffic crash investigation policies. Clara Heyworth was struck and killed while walking on July 10, 2011 by a driver, Anthony Webb, who is suspected of having been speeding and drunk. Webb only held a learner’s permit, and may have been driving in violation of restrictions on his license. The NYPD delayed critical aspects of the investigation until at least four days after Heyworth’s death, which led the destruction of evidence which may have led to Webb’s conviction. The NYPD only investigates approximately ten percent of the approximately 3,000 traffic crashes that result in serious injury, despite the fact that state law requires that all serious injury crashes be investigated.
Jacob Stevens and his attorney, Steve Vaccaro, announced a groundbreaking lawsuit against the NYPD for their failure to investigate Heyworth’s case. The lawsuit alleges that NYPD policy, known as the “Dead or Likely to Die” rule, violates state law, and harms victim’s families who seek justice and closure.
“I want to know why there was no real investigation and why no one has been held responsible for the lack of that investigation,” said Stevens. “If someone dies, suddenly and violently, we have a right to know what happened. There needs to be a professional and timely investigation, as there is after a shooting. The NYPD made a conscious decision not to investigate the scene of Clara’s death. And we know that this wasn’t an isolated incident–it fits a pattern.”
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