Fight Goes On for Family of Briana Ojeda

Briana Ojeda died from an asthma attack in August, 2010

A Brooklyn family's fight continues, as a judge Friday said she would issue a ruling in 60 days on whether a civil suit filed against the city and the NYPD can stand.

The suit relates to the case of 11-year-old Briana Ojeda, who died from an asthma attack in August, 2010. That day, Carmen Ojeda, Briana's mother, said she tried to rush her daughter to the hospital for help, but was pulled over by an NYPD officer. Ojeda said she told the officer, Alfonso Mendez, that her daughter wasn't breathing and begged him to give the girl mouth to mouth.

Ojeda said the officer told her he didn't know CPR and then delayed her from continuing on to the hospital.

Briana's family has since filed a civil suit against the city, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Officer Mendez, claiming the officer's actions violated their constitutional rights and contributed to their daughter's death.

A lawyer for the city said Friday in court that while he sympathizes with the family's loss, the claims in the lawsuit are unjustified. The city asked that the judge throw out the suit, saying it was not an officer's duty to administer CPR.

A spokeswoman for the New York City Law Department, Elizabeth Thomas, said Friday the organization recognizes "the difficult and sensitive nature of the case. However, since the matter is in litigation, we are unable to comment further." 

The Ojeda family said Friday that regardless of the judge's ruling, they would continue to fight to get every officer certified in CPR, so no other familiar ever experiences a similar tragedy.

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