Video Shows Cop Speeding in NYPD Van — And May Have Been Watching a Soccer Game Before Fatal Crash
The driver of an NYPD police van may have been watching a soccer game on his phone when he sped dangerously on the median of Eastern Parkway during a non-emergency prisoner transfer and struck and killed a man who was walking on the rain-slicked roadway, new video evidence shows.
Late on Friday, Attorney General Letitia James released footage from surveillance cameras as well as the body cameras of Officers Orkhan Mamedov, who was driving the van on April 7, 2022, and partner Evan Siegel — and the resulting images present a startling picture of police misconduct, the family of victim Ronald Smith reiterated.
The evidence consists of five videos. In one clip, the police van is obviously speeding. The second clip shows Smith walking in the median before the speeding van clobbers him and drags him for 40 feet. In the final clip, Mamedov is shown leaning over Smith’s lifeless body before pulling out his phone to make a call — and his phone is still playing a soccer game, suggesting that he was watching the match as he was driving, Smith’s family alleges. (Streetsblog has edited them together in this video below):
Less clear from the video, which is redacted and obscured per state rules, is whether Mamedov offered any real assistance to Smith as he lay dying. The video shows Mamedov pressing on Smith’s chest, but only while he is holding the phone and talking on a police radio. When an ambulance shows up, Mamedov says to the perplexed driver, “I hit him.” Siegel’s body camera video suggests that he did nothing as Smith breathed his last breath.
Julie Floyd, the victim’s sister, said the attorney general’s office showed her the raw footage and she told Streetsblog last month that neither officer rendered any life-saving assistance to her brother. On Friday, she reiterated her call that the officers be fired.
“The footage … is crystal clear evidence that Officers Orkhan Mamedov and Evan Siegel must be fired from the NYPD and criminally prosecuted for murdering my brother,” she said in a statement. “These officers drove an NYPD van so fast and recklessly of the median for no reason that they dragged my brother on the hood of their vehicle another 35 feet after hitting him. The footage also shows that Officer Mamedov and Siegel had no regard for my brother’s life when they chose not to render proper medical aid. Instead, Officer Mamedov performed delayed, one-handed, inconsistent chest pumps on Anthony and Officer Siegel did nothing to intervene or aid my brother.”
It’s worth noting that Mamedov has a long list of substantiated allegations against him for excessive force (twice) and abuse of authority (four times). He has had 20 allegations against him.
The NYPD declined to comment on Floyd’s statement, nor did the agency address specific questions raised by Streetsblog about the videos. The agency declined to provide the officers’ current status (though one of the officers was placed on modified duty shortly after the crash). Mamedov made $66,386 last year as a cop and Siegel earned $47,992. City records suggest that Siegel is a rookie officer, while Mamedov has been on the force since 2018.
The Justice Committee, which has been working with the Smith family, issued a statement that focused on the police officers’ actions … and inactions.
“What can be seen [on the videos] is pretty egregious: officers speeding through a red light, driving so recklessly on a median that they dragged Mr. Smith’s body an additional 35 feet after hitting him, the driver, Officer Mamedov, choosing to make a phone call rather than render aid, and his partner taking no action,” said Yul-san Liem, the group’s director of development and operations. “Also, a shot of a soccer game on Officer Mamedov’s phone when he first looks at it raises serious questions about whether or not he was watching the game while driving.”
Floyd said Mamedov and Siegel’s actions amounted to “murder.”
“We’re glad the Attorney General’s office released the videos because New Yorkers have a right to know that these dangerous men are still NYPD officers,” she said. Turning to her brother, she repeated how important she felt it is for New Yorkers to know that her brother “was a good person, full of love.”
“I miss him every single day,” she continued. “I want all New Yorkers to watch this video and stand with my family as we call on Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell to fire Officers Mamedov and Siegel and the Attorney General to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”