FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 22, 2023
Eliel Cruz, email@example.com
New York – Today, in a meeting with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the family of Ronald Anthony Smith – along with the Smith family attorney, David Rankin, and representatives of the Justice Committee – learned that Attorney General Letitia James has chosen not to prosecute NYPD Officers Orkhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel for killing Mr. Smith in 2022.
In response to this decision, the Justice Committee released the following statements from Julie Floyd, sister of Ronald Anthony Smith, and Justice Committee Executive Director Loyda Colon:
“I am so angry at Attorney General James’s decision,” said Julie Floyd, sister of Ronald Anthony Smith. “That video is so clear – Tish James should have secured an indictment and prosecuted Officers Orkhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel months ago, but she’s doing nothing – just like she has in almost all of the cases where officers kill civilians across New York State. I have no faith in the system, especially after how the AG’s Office has re-traumatized me and my family for over 13 months, forcing us to beg for updates and never answering a single one of our questions regarding their investigation. It took 10 months to even get a timeline for the Attorney General’s decision. If you're poor and Black, the system is stacked against us.
I have heard nothing from Mayor Adams, nothing from NYPD Commissioner Sewell and nothing from Deputy Commissioner Banks regarding the NYPD’s investigation and employment status of Officers Mamedov and Siegel. I’ve never heard any of them even say Anthony’s name. There was no support for Anthony while he was alive and there’s even less support now that he’s dead. But my family and I are going to keep fighting.
Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell need to do better than Tish James and her office by firing Officers Orkhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel immediately.”
“State Attorney General James’s decision to not prosecute NYPD Officers Orkhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel for recklessly driving through Brooklyn and killing Ronald Anthony Smith along with the fact that she has obtained only a handful of indictments and zero convictions in hundreds of police killing cases across the state shows a dangerous pattern of shielding officers from accountability,” said Loyda Colon, Executive Director of the Justice Committee. “Tish James’s decision is a slap in the face to all the organizations and families who’ve lost loved ones to police that fought to make the New York State Attorney General the special prosecutor for police killings. The cruel treatment the AG’s Office has shown the Smith family and others throughout New York contradicts the campaign promise Tish James made to conduct transparent investigations, prosecute officers who unjustly kill civilians, and treat grieving families with the dignity they deserve. Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell need to stop following in her footsteps and fire Officers Okhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel for killing Ronald Anthony Smith immediately.”
BACKGROUND: On April 7, 2022, Ronald Anthony Smith was killed by NYPD Officers Orkhan Mamedov (who was operating the vehicle) and Evan Siegel. Surveillance and bodyworn camera footage of the incident shows Officers Mamedov and Siegel run a red light, drive opposite traffic, and speed on the median for no reason, without any regard for the lives of Mr. Smith, anyone else in the road, or those in custody who were passengers in the van. After skriking Mr. Smith, officers Mamedov and Siegel dragged his body 35 feet on the hood of their NYPD van. The footage also shows Officer Mamedov unlocking his phone to a soccer game, raising questions about whether he and Officer Siegel were watching the game while speeding through Crown Heights.
The AG’s Office requested a meeting with the Smith family to share the outcome of its investigation on May 22, 2023. The Smith family has also filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board and is calling for the firing of both officers.
About the Justice Committee:
Since the 1980s, the Justice Committee (JC) has been dedicated to building a movement against police violence and systemic racism in New York City. The heart of our work is organizing and uplifting the leadership of families who have lost loved ones to the police and survivors of police violence. We empower our community to deter police violence, hold law enforcement accountable, and build people-led community safety through grassroots organizing campaigns, community empowerment, political education, our CopWatch program, and by developing safety mechanisms and projects that decrease reliance on police. By building solidarity with other anti-racist, immigrant and people of color-led organizations, the Justice Committee seeks to contribute to a broad-based movement for racial, social, and economic justice. Justice Committee is a Communities United for Police Reform member organization.