Mother of Slain Bodega Worker Faints During Press Conference
THE BRONX — Moments after the start of a news conference outside the Bronx District Attorney's office, the mother of Reynaldo Cuevas, a 20-year-old bodega clerk who was shot by a police officer responding to an armed robbery of the store, collapsed.
Ana Cuevas, whose family had just announced their intent to pursue legal action against the NYPD over the death of her son, fainted, according to reports, and was rushed to the hospital, though she regained consciousness soon after.
The victim's brother, Joel Cuevas, was one of several family members who accompanied her to the meeting with the Bronx District Attorney's office, where they requested a grand jury investigation into the hardworking young father's death, reported NBC New York.
"All I want is justice," said Joel Cuevas. "My little brother, he had no problems with no one."
The family's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's determination based on surveillance footage — that the gunfire that killed Cuevas was an accident — was not an appropriate assessment of the video.
"It is not for the police commissioner to make a determination with regard to whether or not this wrongful death was accidental," Rubenstein said.
In fact, the family believes that the video shows the shooting was intentional, a family spokesman, Fernando Mateo, told CBS News.
"[Cuevas] clips him, the officer turns around, the kid's on the ground, and [the officer] shoots him," said Mateo.
The victim's mother had troubles with high blood pressure, family members told press outlets Sunday.
Outside the Aneurys Deli Grocery on Sunday, friends continued to mourn the loss of their friend for a third day, gravitating towards the spot where Cuevas was shot.