The mother of a mentally ill man shot by cops in his Harlem apartment was awarded $2.2 million on Tuesday — and her lawyer promptly blasted Mayor de Blasio for letting the case go to trial in the first place.
“I put this at the feet of our progressive mayor,” lawyer Randy McLauglin said outside of a Manhattan federal courthouse after scoring the multi-million award on behalf of Hawa Bah, the mother of Mohamed Bah.
“Why this case even went to trial is a mystery to me,” McLauglin said.
Bah sued the city in 2013 claiming cops wrongfully killed her mentally ill son in 2012 after she called for an ambulance because he had been acting strangely. Instead of getting medical help, the 28-year-old student and taxi driver was carried out on a stretcher with eight bullet wounds.
It later emerged that cops shot Bah after prying his door open to see what he was doing inside.
The NYPD claimed they only shot Bah because he lunged at officer Edwin Mateo with a 13-inch kitchen knife. But Mateo later testified that he could not remember being stabbed — and the knife was never produced as evidence because it had been contaminated in a storage warehouse due to Hurricane Sandy.
On Tuesday, the 10-person jury overseeing Bah’s civil trial found that Bah was indeed holding a kitchen knife, but they determined that he had not been moving toward Mateo in a threatening manner at the time he was shot.
“We respect but strongly disagree with the jury’s verdict,” according to Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, which tried the case.
“Our view is that all of the officers involved responded appropriately under the circumstances. While this incident ended tragically, we believe these officers strictly adhered to established protocols for dealing with emotionally disturbed persons. Ultimately, they were required to make a split-second decision to use lethal force.”
Paolucci said the Law Department will “take whatever legal steps…