Parents of slain Bushwick teen demand info from NYPD
by Benjamin Fang
Feb 28, 2017 | 724 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The parents of a Bushwick teen who was shot 14 times by police last weekend are asking the NYPD for more information into their son’s death.

Sergio Reyes, 18, was shot and killed by cops last Sunday morning. According to Chief of Patrol Terence A. Monahan, Reyes had allegedly robbed a local grocery store prior to the shooting.

Police officers from the 83rd Precinct were called at around 12:40 a.m. to look into a robbery in progress at the Garden Deli, located at 185 Starr Street. When the cops arrived, they spoke to witnesses and saw Reyes walking away on Starr Street.

The three-person team then “gave verbal commands and engaged” Reyes. The Bushwick teen then allegedly raised a black gun toward the officers. Police fired at him, striking him 14 times.

After the shooting, officers identified Reyes’s gun as an “imitation pistol.” Reyes was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Last Thursday, Reyes’s family held a wake at Ortiz Funeral Home in Williamsburg. His father, Antonio Tlapanco, spoke to the media in Spanish.

His statement was translated by Jesus Gonzalez, a member of the local organization Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH).

Tlapanco said their family had lived in Bushwick for more than a decade. Reyes, his son, was a high school senior who was set to graduate from the public school system this year.

“Sergio was a young person who was planning to go to college and study social work,” Tlapanco said.

The father, who appeared emotional when speaking, said there were still many questions left unanswered about what had happened on that fateful Sunday morning.

“Why was he shot by police 14 times, and shot at maybe more times, on a residential block with children and families in our community,” he said. “What unit was responsible and what are the names of the officers involved?”

He asked for an “objective, independent and transparent” investigation into the police shooting.

“The number of bullets that pierced Sergio's body do not make sense to the family,” Gonzalez said. “There are serious concerns about the apparent excessive use of force in this incident that resulted in the death of a high school senior, who was a son, a brother and was loved.”

Gonzalez said it’s not enough for just the NYPD to investigate what happened. He requested an external investigation from the state Attorney General’s office or the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

“It is important for Sergio’s family, the community that stands with them in support, and true justice that the full and unvarnished truth is uncovered,” Gonzalez said.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso attended the wake in Williamsburg to mourn alongside the family.

“At this point, my goal is to make sure this family gets all the information they're asking for with regard to the incident that happened on Sunday morning,” Reynoso said. “We know what happened prior to, but we don’t know what happened during or slightly after the killing of Sergio Reyes.”
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