Justice for Briana? Parents want criminal charges in asthma girl death

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Hundreds of mourners rallied at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Tuesday to demand criminal charges against an 84th Precinct cop who declined to give CPR to an 11-year-old Carroll Gardens girl as she was suffering a fatal asthma attack last week.

The officer, Alfonso Mendez, has been suspended for his role in the death of Briana Ojeda — but the District Attorney’s office has said that he is facing no charges.

“We want the DA to file charges of reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless misconduct,” said Bonita Zelman, the Ojeda family’s lawyer.

Marchers carried graffiti-style, spray-painted signs on the Court Street side of Borough Hall, calling for a law requiring all police officers to be retrained and re-certified in CPR every year.

Currently, cops are only trained and certified in the police academy. During Briana’s attack, Mendez apparently told Briana’s mother, Carmen Delgado, that he did not know how to perform the life-saving technique.

The legislation already has a name: Briana’s Law.

“I will push the legislation until we get it done,” said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Red Hook).

Mendez has not denied that he doesn’t know CPR, but has claimed that he is not responsible for Briana’s death, despite Delgado’s contention that he detained her to give her a ticket when she struck a car in her mad dash to get Briana to the hospital. The five-year NYPD vet told reporters that someone was already performing CPR on Briana and that the girl was receiving oxygen from a tank that her mother always kept handy in the event of an attack.

The rally was almost as emotional as Briana’s funeral last week, when hundreds of mourners dressed in white to mourn as a horse-drawn carriage carried Briana’s coffin to St. Francis Xavier Church in Park Slope.

Officials at the 84th Precinct declined to comment, and a spokesman from NYPD headquarters did not respond to e-mail requests for information.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.