The NYPD lost key evidence and botched the investigation of a fatal hit and run of a Williamsburg artist two months ago because officers had “more serious crimes” to deal with, the late cyclist’s family charged on Monday.
A lawyer for the family of cyclist Mathieu Lefevre this week blasted police investigators for not collecting evidence, including Lefevre’s blood and bike paint, from the front bumper of the truck and his bike helmet after he was run down on Morgan Avenue by a truck turning onto Meserole Street.
And the lawyer, Steve Vaccaro, added that a police detective told him that they did not take a blood sample because crime technicians were busy with “more serious crimes” elsewhere.
The accident, one of several over the last few months in Williamsburg, unleashed a wave of protests by cyclists and their advocacy groups at police headquarters in Manhattan — evidence, Vaccaro said, that the death of Lefevre was indeed serious.
“If thousands of members of the public have expressed an interest in the police’s investigation, that should be a reason for the police to conduct the most careful, thorough, and impartial investigation it can,” said Vaccaro.
Police initially ruled the crash an accident after driver Leonardo Degianni told police investigators that he did not realize that he hit anyone. But a police report — released only after the Lefevre family rallied at One Police Plaza — showed that the truck rammed into Lefevre from behind, ran him over in the intersection, and then kept going before parking his car two blocks away from the accident.
A police spokesman offered no updates regarding the investigation, adding that the NYPD maintains that no crime was committed.
That doesn’t surprise Vaccaro, who claims that officers have been consistently dismissive of the case.
“Cyclists do crazy things,” one cop told Vaccaro, the lawyer claimed.
©2011 Community News Group
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