What to Know
- The family of the man pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt in the Bronx and later killed by cops says they want answers
- Police say Allan Feliz, 31, had three open warrants against him, one of which was for littering when they tried to place him under arrest
- The family's lawyer says they want an independent investigation and they want police to release the bodycam footage
The family of the 31-year-old man who was shot and killed by cops last week wants the NYPD to release bodycam footage as the passenger insists they were wearing seat belts when they were pulled over.
Three officers stopped Allan Feliz on East 211 Street on Thursday, saying he was not wearing a seat belt. Police said Feliz had three open warrants and he fought back after they tried to place him under arrest.
It lead to a scuffle inside the vehicle where a stun gun was deployed and the Volkswagen SUV's gear was shifted back and forth. As the car was put into reverse, an officer on the driver's side had to let go of Feliz and jump out of the way to avoid getting hit by the car, according to NYPD Chief Terence Monahan.
After about a minute and a half of fighting, the sergeant opened fire, shooting Feliz in the chest.
Feliz's family lawyer, Bob Vilinsky disputed the NYPD's account of the incident and demanded an independent investigation because it could have been one of the officers who put the gear in reserve during the struggle.
"Why did they go to the extreme measure so quickly?," Samy Feliz said, describing his brother as a loving father and a good man. "I'm still in shock, mourning and troubled because we don't have closure yet."
Police said they deployed a stun gun but it failed to stop Feliz. They also said one of the warrants against Feliz was for littering but didn't disclose the details of other open warrants that led to Feliz's arrest.
Vilinsky said he believes the initial stop may have been racial profiling and questioned the drugs that police said were found in Feliz's vehicle.
"Where is the cocaine? Where is the heroin? Why didn’t they display it?," said Vilinsky.
In a statement, the NYPD said: "The NYPD’s Force Investigation Division conducts comprehensive investigations in every incident where police officers discharge their service weapon and this process is active and ongoing. We will decline to comment further on an active investigation."
The shooting was the third police-involved shooting in the city in a matter of three days.
Feliz's family also said they plan to file a lawsuit against the city.