The city of New York has agreed to pay $1.9 million to the family of an emotionally disturbed cabbie who police shot dead in his Harlem apartment in 2012.
The settlement ends a long-running, contentious lawsuit over the fatal encounter that resulted in an examination of NYPD protocol.
A jury held the city liable for Bah’s wrongful death and awarded Bah’s mother $2.2 million in 2017. The city appealed that verdict, which did not include attorneys’ fees estimated to exceed $1 million.
The new settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, includes attorneys’ fees. The city will drop its appeal.
“Mrs. Bah feels vindicated,” Randolph McLaughlin, an attorney with the firm Newman Ferrara, said.
Mohamed Bah, a Muslim immigrant from Guinea, was killed on Sept. 25, 2012, after being shot seven times and once in the head by the NYPD inside his home.
Mohamed’s mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 for an ambulance for her son, who was in physical and emotional distress. NYPD officers arrived first.
Reportedly, despite Mrs. Bah pleading with them not to, Emergency Services Unit officers forced their way into her son’s apartment—against NYPD protocol and without a warrant—with guns drawn and shot him eight times, killing him.
There is concrete evidence that shows that the last shot was fired at close range, while Bah lay on the ground. Both the state and federal criminal justice systems failed to hold the officers involved accountable.
In November 2017, the jury for Bah’s civil trial ruled that Officer Edwin Mateo, who fired the execution-style shot that killed Bah, was liable for using excessive force and Lt. Michael Licitra, the commanding officer on the scene, was liable for failure to supervise.
“Mohamed was a Muslim man, honor student, taxi driver and wonderful son. He had never committed a crime in his life,” said his mother.
“NYPD take him from me on Sept. 23, 2012. Mohamed was sick, I know he needed help. I called 911 to get the ambulance and take him to the hospital. What the police did instead of helping Mohamed, they treated Mohamed like a criminal.”
The Bah family was forced back into a now six-year process, with the city’s attorneys filing motions for “qualified immunity.”
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