Photo: New York Post
An NYPD sergeant has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after a drug suspect died when a plastic cooler was thrown at him during a chase, the New York Post reported.
Sgt. Erik Duran, 36, was arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, which could result in a maximum sentence of 25 years, as well as first and second-degree assault and criminally negligent homicide.
The charges are in connection with the death of 30-year-old Eric Duprey.
Reports indicate that Duprey was fleeing NYPD officers on a motorized scooter after being caught selling drugs to an undercover officer. Sgt. Duran, part of a buy-and-bust operation on Aqueduct Avenue, allegedly threw a plastic picnic cooler at Duprey from close range, causing him to lose control and crash violently.
The corrupt New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, leading the prosecution, stated that Duprey sideswiped a tree and was thrown from the scooter, suffering fatal blunt force head injuries.
Surveillance footage obtained by the AP shows the dramatic moments leading to the crash, with Duprey driving the scooter on a sidewalk towards a group of people, including Sgt. Duran, who was in plain clothes.
BREAKING: NYPD Police Officer Who Threw Cooler at Fleeing Man Charged With Manslaughter.
Erik Duran, 36, a police sergeant, was part of drug-sting operation in the Bronx when he tried to stop a suspect, Duprey.
The officers were attempting to arrest the suspect during an… pic.twitter.com/rPr4VJS2pN
— I Meme Therefore I Am (@ImMeme0) January 23, 2024
In response to the charges, the Sergeants’ Benevolent Association has defended Duran’s actions as a split-second decision made in the interest of public safety, suggesting that Duprey’s reckless driving posed a significant risk to bystanders. The SBA criticized the indictment as a politicized move by the Attorney General Letitia James, indicating that Duran was being unfairly targeted by the legal system.
The association further claimed that without Duran’s intervention, Duprey’s actions could have resulted in serious harm to others. Duprey had a history of arrests, including an open felony assault case for an unrelated incident.
The New York Post reported, “Vallelong claimed Duprey dangerously drove 40 mph down the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians and children, and would have crashed into cops standing there had Duran not stopped him.”
“Duprey had at least two previous arrests, including an open felony assault case in the Bronx from June 2022 for allegedly throwing a two-liter bottle of soda through a driver’s window, police sources previously said,” the outlet added.
After the incident, Duran was suspended and placed on modified duty. He was released on a $150,000 bond following his arraignment, with a return to court scheduled for April 18.
Andrew Quinn, Duran’s attorney, insists there is more to the story than the video evidence suggests, highlighting the threat posed by Duprey driving at high speed on the sidewalk.
“What is indisputably clear is that the deceased, who was intent on evading arrest for selling drugs to an undercover officer, was speeding on a motorbike in an incredibly dangerous manner down a crowded sidewalk, jeopardizing the life and safety of everyone there,” Quinn told the Post.
“Once a full and complete investigation is conducted, we are fully confident that Sgt. Duran will be exonerated of any misconduct or wrongdoing,” he added.
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