7 On Your Side Investigates: NYPD evidence warehouse fire 'Christmas for criminals,' attorney says

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Friday, December 23, 2022
NYPD evidence warehouse fire 'Christmas for criminals,' attorney says
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Some attorneys are calling on police to catalog and release a list of all of the evidence damaged by the massive fire at an NYPD evidence warehouse. Dan Krauth has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- While fire marshals are still investigating the cause of the NYPD evidence warehouse fire that happened last Tuesday, some attorneys are calling on police to catalog and release a list of all of the evidence damaged by the massive fire.

The Tuesday morning fire started on an evidence shelf and quickly engulfed the Brooklyn building. It housed evidence ranging from e-scooters and cars to biological DNA evidence, some of it decades old.

"This is a catastrophe, an absolute disaster," said criminal defense and civil rights attorney Ron Kuby. "For the actually innocent it's bad but it's Christmas for criminals," said Kuby.

Without the proper evidence, it may be difficult to solve cold cases or attempt to overturn cases of those who say they're wrongfully convicted.

"It's not as though nobody had a clue this warehouse was vulnerable," said Kuby.

It's not the first time evidence inside the police warehouse was damaged. Portions of an evidence building were flooded in the same area back in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy.

"At a minimum, they need to publish a comprehensive list of what was there, what cases the evidence was attached to, who the defendants were in these cases so we can at least know what we don't have anymore," said Kuby.

The FDNY tells us the warehouse had a working sprinkler system and they're still investigating the cause.

"If they're designed properly and maintained properly they should do the job and they didn't do the job here and there's something amiss," said fire safety expert Glenn Corbett.

Fire crews on the scene said there weren't a lot of openings in the building to fight the fire and that it spread quickly.

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