Wali Camara, a deli worker at A&M Deli Grocery in the Bronx, was shot and killed with a NYPD officer’s pistol on Aug. 9. But the person pulling the trigger wasn’t an officer. It was a panhandler that took the officer’s gun out of his holster and fired 15 rounds.
Camara’s family is now suing New York City for $20 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, according to The Grio.
Efrain Guzman, the man who killed Camara, was reportedly reacting to being thrown out of the store after asking for money. He went across the street to do the same at another location and that’s when police were called.
The incident has brought the NYPD under the spotlight as it was pointed out that the holster holding Officer Jorge Monge’s weapon was rejected by the LAPD 20 years ago.
Monge and his partner were called to remove Guzman from the scene. Monge’s partner shot Guzman after he emptied the clip while being taken out of the grocery store.
“As a result of the tragic death of Wali Camara, the police commissioner has announced all city uniformed police officers will be receiving new, more secure, gun holsters . . . with an automatic locking system to replace the holster used at the time of Wali Camara’s death,” said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.
The lawsuit calls out the NYPD for numerous lapses in judgment, including the use of the holsters and why Guzman wasn’t handcuffed. It also requests more information on how officers are trained to avoid these incidents from occurring.
“The city and NYPD have failed to respond appropriately to past complaints of faulty gun holsters and police procedure and training of bolstering a firearm, not only by their own Internal Affairs Bureau, but also the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Mollen Commission reports and other public reports,” said court documents.
Guzman has been charged with second-degree murder and could face up to 25 years in prison to life.