NYLPI sued the New York Police Department (NYPD) under New York’s Freedom of Information Law for unredacted body-worn camera footage in the fatal shooting of foreign exchange student Miguel Richards, who was experiencing a mental health crisis. Richards’ death followed a 15-minute confrontation in which he stood silent and motionless, holding what turned out to be a toy gun, and the police fired 16 shots. It was the first fatal police shooting since the NYPD’s court-ordered pilot program for the cameras began five months earlier. The NYPD did not include footage from all officers’ cameras, nor did it include footage from the aftermath of the shooting. In filing this action, NYLPI seeks to protect the rights of persons with disabilities experiencing mental health crises and prevent similar outcomes. This litigation is part of NYLPI’s Campaign to Reform New York City’s Responses to Mental Health Crises and limit the role of the NYPD, while ensuring that health professionals are available, as needed.
Pro bono co-counsel: Milbank Tweed