In the wake of the grand jury decisions on Eric Garner and the shooting in Michael Brown, everyone has been holding police officers under a microscope, especially in New York.
One story that has surfaced is about an NYPD police officer who killed a pedestrian without being held accountable.
According to the initial report on the Gothamist, NYPD Officer Darren Illardi struck and killed a 24-year-old named Royo Oyamada back in February of 2013 in Queensbridge. The accident was filmed and shows Ilardi driving at a very fast speed. Despite the footage, he hasn’t been charged with a crime after nearly two years.
The DMV has to hold a safety hearing to go over the facts of the case so they can come to the conclusion if Officer Ilardi should keep his license or not. Unfortunately, the hearings by the DMV still haven’t been scheduled, and now the family of Oyamada is suing the city.
In a statement, Oyamada’s family said, “These hearings can be a powerful tool to win accountability for sober reckless drivers. The problems with the process are that it’s not transparent, families of crash victims haven’t gotten the opportunity to present evidence the way they would want to, and the police investigative files are not available at these hearings, not to mention that police testimony is often absent.”
A spokesperson for the DMV has come forward, but didn’t give a direct answer when asked if this postponed hearing has anything to do with the fact that Officer IIlardi’s position is at the NYPD.
Jackie McGinnis simply stated, “DMV safety hearings are the same no matter who was involved in the accident.”
A petition to investigate Ryo Oyamada’s death was started on the popular site Change.org. The petition current has over 115,000 supporters. The petition page states the events that happened on February 21, 2013.
“Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by an NYPD cruiser while crossing the street. He was only 24 years old. While NYPD claimed that the cruiser’s lights and sirens were on before the collision, multiple eyewitness accounts along with video footage indicate that the officer was driving over 70 mph down a residential street without emergency lights on, and that NYPD may have covered this up.
“Initially, NYPD refused to release video footage of the accident. Then they released a heavily edited video that seemed to corroborate their version of events.”
Additionally other court filings suggest that this isn’t the first time Darren Ilardi has had trouble with speeding. It’s also believed that the NYPD did not take precautions to warm him.
Today would have marked Ryo’s 25th birthday.
— No More Tragedy (@NoMoreTragedy_O) December 5, 2014
[Image of Ryo Oyamada via Change.org]