A Harlem woman wounded by a stray police bullet cannot sue New York City for negligence, the state's highest court narrowly ruled this week, The Wall Street Journal
The divided 4-3 judgement by the state's Court of Appeals could make it harder for any New Yorker struck in a crossfire to sue police: It states that New York Police Department policy "does not prohibit officers from discharging their weapons when innocent bystanders are present in every instance" and in fact "grants an officer discretion."
Police officers fired 25 bullets in a May 2005 gunfight with a robbery suspect. One police slug struck Tammy Johnson in the right elbow while she shielded her infant daughter from the crossfire. The robbery suspect, who was firing at police, was killed. Johnson's lawyer said the bullet has left her permanently injured even after surgeries. The high court's ruling affirmed a lower court decision tossing out Johnson's negligence suit.
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