Queens Campaigner

Elijah Foster-Bey Should Sue City, Attorney Says

Statements made after court hearing in Brooklyn

By Adina Genn 

Back in October, Ellen Cross, the mother of Elijah Foster-Bey, intended to file suit against the New York Police Department. At the time, Foster-Bey, 17, had just been arrested for criminal possession of a firearm and attempted murder after allegedly shooting New York Police Officer Richard Ramirez in a stairwell in East New York, Brooklyn.

Now it appears that law suit is one step closer to reality, given the words of defense attorney Robert DiDio. 

DiDio represents Foster-Bey, who is out on $100,000 bail and living with his family in Port Washington. After a pretrial hearing at State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on Friday, DiDio said that filing suit was a good idea for his client.

"Any citizen shot in the back should pursue these civil remedies," DiDio said, according to the Daily News. 

DiDio maintained that stance on Saturday, when he told Patch that plain clothes police officers had confronted Foster-Bey on Oct. 17 because he was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. DiDio claims they exited the car and did not identify themselves as police officers when they began pursuit. Foster-Bey threw down his bike, ran, and was shot from behind, DiDio said.

"He was in fear of his life," DiDio said of Foster-Bey, adding that the confrontation continued inside the building.

After the incident, Ramirez was hospitalized until Dec. 17, having endured bullet wounds to the leg and abdomen, which was protected by his bullet-proof vest. Foster-Bey, hospitalized for six weeks, was shot in both legs and the buttocks.

On Saturday, talk of a civil suit did not sit well with police.

"The assailant in this case should have never received bail after he shot and nearly killed Officer Ramirez," NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told Patch. "But never underestimate greed no matter how absurd the claims especially when settlements in frivolous lawsuits against the city have frequently rewarded lawyers and their clients in the past." 

According to police, officers stopped to question Foster-Bey, as they were looking for suspects in a string of robberies by a thief on a bicycle. Seeing the police, Foster-Bey ran into a building on Bradford Street and up to the third floor. Unable to open the door at the top landing, Foster-Bey, carrying an illegal .32 caliber handgun, turned and began firing at the three approaching officers, striking Ramirez.

Foster-Bey is due back in court on Feb. 15.