Briana's Law takes aim at NYPD training procedure

November 1, 2010 4:22:02 AM PDT
The parents of an 11-year-old girl from Brooklyn who died after a police officer refused to give her CPR are demanding that the NYPD change its training requirements.

The Ojeda family pushed for Briana's Law Sunday in Brooklyn in memory of their daughter.

"Today is a special day she loved, Halloween," mom Carmen Ojeda said. "I just want to thank all of the kids that are here in costume and for keeping the spirit alive for Briana."

It was in the spirit and name of Briana Ojeda that several dozen people marched onto the steps of Brooklyn Supreme Court Sunday afternoon.

"We are here to support Briana's law," said Bonita E. Zelman, the Ojeda family's attorney.

Briana died in August, as her mother tried to rush her to the hospital during an asthma attack. An NYPD officer who stopped her for a traffic violation, refused to give Briana CPR. Now the Ojeda's want a law that would prevent a child from dying the way theirs did.

"We're not going to give up. We're going to keep going. The holidays just push us to let us know that she's not here and we got to make a change and we got to make a difference," said Michael Ojeda, Briana's father.

Briana's Law would mandate that NYPD officers are re-certified in CPR annually.

It would also make it misdemeanor for any police officer to refuse to render CPR, and a felony if the person dies.

New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz introduced the bill.

"It is sad that we have to do a bill under these circumstances, but sometimes it is the only way you can get the police department and law enforcement to listen," Assemblyman Ortiz said.

The Ojeda's are passing around a petition to get Briana's Law passed.

They've collected 5,000 signatures so far, and once they get is passed in New York, they want to take it nationwide.

"Everywhere. The whole country. Everybody needs this help. That's all it is, it's just help. It's not extra, it's what we deserve, it's just help, right? You call for help, you get help," Michael Ojeda said.

On Saturday, the Ojeda's filed a $17 million civil suit against city, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and Officer Alfonso Mendez, and they are also demanding criminal charges against him.

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