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Morning Spew

Eric Duprey’s Family Is Challenging the Official Police Narrative

And some links to start your week.

9:17 AM EDT on August 28, 2023

Three people sit on a bench on a beach boardwalk, with a pile of rocks in the distance.

(Hell Gate)

Last Wednesday in the Bronx, an undercover NYPD officer threw a cooler at Eric Duprey while he was fleeing from the cops, knocking him off of the motorbike he was riding. Duprey died from his injuries. On Friday, the New York City medical examiner ruled that Eric Duprey's death was a homicide

Attorney General Letitia James is conducting an investigation into what exactly happened, and Erik Duran, the NYPD sergeant who threw the cooler at Duprey, has been suspended without pay, in what the AP described as "an unusually quick disciplinary move by the NYPD." According to the NYPD, Duprey fled on a friend's motorbike after he "was caught selling drugs to an undercover police officer," during a "buy-and-bust" op. 

But Duprey's family members have been challenging that official narrative. In an interview with the New York Times, Duprey's brother Ryan Rodriguez said he was with Duprey on Wednesday, and that all they were doing at the time the police officers arrived was "chilling and smoking, the same thing we do every day." According to Rodriguez, his brother only fled because the motorbike he was sitting on was unregistered. News outlets have reported that Duprey was a delivery driver. "He was scared they would take his bike away," Rodriguez told the Times. 

Duprey's mother, Gretchen Soto, has also said that the police narrative is "all lies." In an interview with the AP, Soto "said she was on a video call with him from Puerto Rico on Wednesday when suddenly the screen went dark." "He wasn't fleeing," Soto told the AP. "He was just on the motorcycle talking to me on the video chat. And he passed by that place when all of a sudden the call cut out."

"I want justice for my brother," Rodriguez told the Times. "I want that officer locked in jail."

And some links that are not the official police narrative:

  • Gothamist interviewed some of the migrant men who were forced to sleep outdoors outside of the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown: "He'd never slept outside before, let alone for four days, until now."
  • After one judge ruled the City can't use a closed Staten Island school as a migrant shelter, another judge quickly overturned that decision. Meanwhile, anti-immigrant protesters continue to swarm the Staten Island site, with more protests expected today. On Sunday, Gracie Mansion was also the scene of a chaotic protest and counterprotest.  
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