Lawsuit Charges NYC Cops With Stomping a Parakeet (and Beating Humans) During a Warrantless Raid

Stories about
cops gratuitously killing dogs are
sadly common, but this is the first
parakeet stomping
I can recall. According to a federal lawsuit,
it all started during a 2012 Labor Day weekend barbecue at the
Staten Island home of Evelyn Lugo, a 57-year-old mother of 10.
Police officers stopped Lugo’s son Edwin Avellanet as he was taking
out some trash and asked him about an orange cone that someone had
used to save a parking space in front of the house. The cops
demanded identification, and Avellanet replied that he did not
have to provide any, since he had done nothing wrong. One of the
officers grabbed Avellanet’s arm, but he broke free and ran back
into his mother’s house. The suit says police then forcibly entered
the house without a warrant, breaking windows and at least one door
in the process.

During the raid, the cage containing Lugo’s cherished blue and
green parakeet, Tito, was knocked onto the floor, and the bird
escaped. Lugo’s daughter Anna Febles
the New York Daily News that she then
exclaimed, “The bird!” She said one of the officers replied, “Fuck
the bird!” and deliberately crushed it beneath his foot.

According to the lawsuit, the cops also attacked several humans,
repeatedly walloping Lugo’s son George and a family
friend, Luis Ortega, on the head with batons. The
justification? The NYPD isn’t talking, but I’m going to guess
something like “resisting arrest.” Arrest for what is not clear.
Criminal charges against Ortega, George Lugo, and his sister Alba
Cuevas were dismissed, and no charges were ever filed against
Avellanet, whose insistence on his civil liberties apparently
provoked the home invasion.

There is also no word on exactly what the parakeet did to
deserve his fate, but presumably the officer who killed it felt
“Ever since then I have been sick and
depressed,” Evelyn Lugo told the Daily News. “I was hurt
on the inside, in my heart.”

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

from Hit & Run

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