A woman was shot by an officer after her friend fought with police in NY, the lawsuit says

A woman was shot by an officer after her friend fought with police in NY, the lawsuit says

A woman still has a knife in her body a year after an officer fired his handgun at her close friend during a struggle with police, a federal lawsuit filed in New York says.

An officer’s bullet struck Chesty Wade in the right thigh just above his knee before exiting his pelvis in Beacon on Feb. 27, 2022, according to the complaint filed a year after the shooting.

Wade said Fishkill Police Officer Joseph DePalma “recklessly” fired his gun and disregarded his safety because his friend, who was also shot, was having a mental health crisis that day. According to the complaint, the shooting left him in a wheelchair for a month.

Now Wade is suing DePalma and the city of Fishkill, the complaint shows. He demanded a trial by jury.

McClatchy News reached out to the city and the Fishkill Police Department for comment and did not immediately receive a response.

A grand jury investigation determined DePalma and other officers were involved that day Justified in their actionsAccording to the Mid-Hudson News, which first reported Wade’s case.

Why was Wade shot?

On Feb. 27, 2022, Fishkill police officers, including DePalma, were responding to a dispute between a mother and her son at an apartment complex in Beacon, the complaint states.

Around the same time, Wade was at his apartment with his close friend Michael Beseril who began experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Beseril grabbed a knife and began harming himself before running out of Wade’s apartment with the knife, begging him to follow her to calm her down.

As Wade ran down the street after Beseril, DePalma and Officer Joseph Hurtado were nearby, he yelled for help, according to the complaint. Wade says he pulled Beseril and they both fell to the ground as he dropped the knife.

“At this point, Becerril no longer had a knife, was otherwise unarmed, and was not an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury … both Hurtado and DePalma knew this,” the complaint states.

Hurtado chased Beceril, who then tried to leave before Hurtado tripped him, according to the complaint.

As Beseril fell, DePalma ran to a nearby hill and “began shooting indiscriminately at the fallen Beseril and (Wade), who was still on the ground,” the complaint states.

Depalmar bullets hit both Wade and Beceril, she said.

DePalma accused Besserile of knocking him down and taking his gun after shooting him, according to a complaint obtained by the Poughkeepsie Journal. Attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. These details are not included in the complaint.

According to the Mid-Hudson News, Beseril was hospitalized for gunshot wounds and eventually apologized for how he acted that day and did not blame the officers for the shooting. He pleaded guilty to “intimidating a police officer with a firearm” and faces up to three years and six months in prison, the outlet reported.

Meanwhile, Wade’s complaint alleges that during the shooting at Beceril, DePalma “did not take precautions to avoid shooting (Wade).”

As a result, Wade suffered excruciating pain after being shot — pain that continues to this day — and required emergency medical treatment, the complaint states.

According to Wade, he may need surgery to remove the remaining shrapnel from his body from the dipalmar bullet.

Wade blamed the town of Fishkill for not providing “adequate” training to police officers on how to respond to mental health crises or incidents of self-harm.

Wade is suing several counts, including battery and negligence.

On June 22, 2022, a Dutchess County court grand jury decided criminal charges against DePalma and the other officers were not warranted, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Fishkill is about 70 miles north of New York City.

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