By The Vanguard Staff
NEW YORK CITY, NY – A registered nurse here claims in a federal lawsuit filed last week against the city and several NYPD officers that police refused to look at Ring camera surveillance footage that would have exonerated her.
Tricia Lara, from Trinidad, told news media if she had been white she may not have been arrested at all.
According to news reports in the NY Daily news, Lara was arrested for domestic violence when—as her camera footage shows—a cousin burst into Lara’s home and attacked her.
Charges against Lara were eventually dismissed after prosecutors viewed the footage in December. The arrest took place July 4.
The officers’ unwillingness to watch the video—despite a state law requiring cops to investigate who a “primary physical aggressor” in a domestic violence case is—put Lara through the “criminal justice system ringer” for six months, according to the NY Daily News.
“I was attacked in my own home. It affected my job. I couldn’t get a job because they said I had a pending case against me,” said Lara. “I used to be a school nurse, and the agency sent me an email saying I was arrested and I will be terminated if I don’t get it resolved. My whole career was on the line.”
The NY Daily News wrote, “The interaction that threw Lara’s life into turmoil lasted just a few seconds — the security video she set up in her Sheepshead Bay home shows her open the front door to find her cousin standing on the other side, holding a brown paper bag.
“The cousin is on her mother’s side of the family, and Lara said she wasn’t welcome in her home. Her arrival was a surprise, Lara said, since her mother, who lives with her, said a different relative was coming to visit.
“I don’t want you here,” Lara says on the video, but the cousin shoves past Lara The cousin filed charges and when Lara pursued her own burglary and assault charges, it was Lara that was jailed.
According to the federal lawsuit, NYPD Officers Richard Powers and Robert Emmanuel, “disregarded the Ring surveillance camera with easily retrievable `exonerating’ video clearly visible on a nearby cabinet in the living room.”
“That’s a big problem,” her lawyer, Eric Sanders said. “They (officers) claim to have all this training, but yet they don’t follow it.”
The complaint notes the officer who cuffed her, Yulia Braginsky, refused to look at the Ring camera footage.
Lara said, “It was a big relief, a big relief, because my career was on the line…. They tried to ruin me with her lies,” she said. “It was scary. I lost a lot of weight, I began to get dizzy for no reason. If I had no video, what would have happened?”